SEVERAL doctors at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City may be relieved for backing the unauthorized private hospitalization of at least three high-profile inmates in a span of two weeks, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Friday.
De Lima did not identify the doctors in the initial report submitted to her by Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan, the undersecretary-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), who looked into reports that convicted criminals received outside medical care last month without her blessing.
She said she will form a fact-finding committee to check if there are other inmates who have been granted emergency referrals without the Department of Justice's clearance, type and level of security extended to inmates in private hospitals and profile of visitors.
"We're really going to have an honest-to-goodness, serious and expanded probe into this whole thing. Nakakaduda yung ganyan lalong lalo na most, I think, of these inmates are high-profile and believed to be monied drug inmates," she told reporters.
These inmates include bank robbery leader Herbert "Ampang" Colangco, who was taken to Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa; Amin Buratong, an operator of a drug flea market, who was brought to the Medical City in Pasig due to recurring coronary disease and a liver ailment; and convicted drug lord Ricardo Camata, head of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik gang.
Camata was confined at the Metropolitan Hospital in Manila because of a lung ailment but he became controversial after hospital footage showed he received starlet Krista Miller and television dancers in his room.
Miller said she only visited Camata to sell condominium units.
NBP rules only accord visitation rights to relatives of inmates.
The controversy has already caused the relief of NBP Superintendent Fajardo Lansangan and 12 jail guards.
Lansangan was replaced last week by Superintendent Roberto Rabo, former supervisor of the maximum security compound involving high-risk detainees. (Sunnex)