BUREAU of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag on Sunday, July 19, 2020, confirmed reports that some persons deprived of liberty (PDL) at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) had died from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Indeed there are PDL who died due to Covid-19. However, as much as we want to inform the public with respect to the names of PDL who died due to Covid-19, the Data Privacy Act prohibits us from doing so,” Bantag said.
He assured that BuCor was addressing the Covid-19 outbreak in its facilities.
“In fact, we have a high rate of recovery and we are glad to report to the public that all our interventions appear to be doing well and effective,” he said.
Bantag said BuCor is implementing quick identification, isolation and treatment programs to mitigate the risk of transmission of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
He added that they have partnered with other government agencies , international organizations and non-government organizations to strengthen efforts to address the epidemic.
Among those who reportedly succumbed to Covid-19 was a high-value inmate who had testified against detained Senator Leila de Lima, the former Justice secretary who was linked to the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the NBP.
The inmate’s cremation on Saturday, July 18 was reportedly confirmed by Panteon de Dasmariñas.
The BuCor was among the first government agencies to take precautionary measures against Covid-19 in March by suspending visitation privileges in all the facilities that it supervises.
Aside from NBP in Muntinlupa City in Metro Manila, BuCor also supervises the Leyte Regional Prison in Abuyog, Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm and Correctional Institute for Women. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)
New Bilibid Prison in Muntilupa City, Leyte Regional Prison, Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm and Correctional Institute for Women. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)