IED rocks Bilibid’s compound for rebel detainees

Marje Pelayo   •   October 11, 2019   •   966

MANILA, Philippines – While clearing operations continued inside the maximum compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), an explosion rattled Quadrant 4 around 10:00 AM on Friday (October 11).

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) immediately deployed K-9 units and a team of experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) to the site.

The authorities’ initial investigation discovered that the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED).

Also, two hand grenades and two blasting caps were discovered inside one of the kiosks.

“May sumabog doon, sir. Noong sumabog nag-alisan na kami. Muntikan na kami. Nandoon kami sa isang kanto (Something exploded. When the bomb blasted, we dispersed. We were that close. We were there at the street corner),” one inmate recalled.

“Pagsabog, bigla nang pinaalis (kami). Tinawag namin mga SWAT. (Sinabi) namin sa kanila na may sumabog (When the explosion happened, we were dispersed. Then we called the SWAT and told them about the explosion),” he added.

Authorities also noted that most of the inmates inside Quadrant 4 were members of different rebel groups.

According to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Gerald Bantag, the rebels were possibly training their co-detainees on how to manufacture explosives.

“Siguro gusto tayong takutin kasi may mga bali-balita. May intelligence report na itong mga extremists na ito ay nagtuturo kung paano gumawa ng bomba (Perhaps, they just want to intimidate us because there was an intelligence report about extremists who are conducting training on how to make a bomb),” Bantag explained.

Bantag assured that they are ready for any circumstance should there be similar incidents in the future.

“Tinanggap ko itong posisyon na ito at na-program ko na ang sarili ko, (I accepted this position and already programed myself in this,” Bantag said.

“Patay kung patay (I am willing to die if that’s what it takes),” he added.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered an investigation on the incident.

He ordered Bantag to file a written report and launch the investigation along with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to Secretary Guevarra, the explosion is an indication of the gravity of NBP’s security problem. – MNP (With reports from Sherwin Culubong)

BuCor warns public vs scammers posing as bureau officials

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Friday warned the public against unscrupulous individuals who are posing as bureau senior officials to extort money from their victims.

The BuCor issued the warning after receiving information about persons who have communicated with its partners or suppliers seeking solicitation for future events.

“We would like to inform the public that BuCor has not authorized any individual to conduct such activity especially using the name of the BuCor officials,” the bureau said in a statement.

“Moreover, there are no personnel allowed to solicit favors and goods on behalf of BuCor,” it added.

The agency advised the public to immediately report such transactions to BuCor contact numbers 8478-3597, 0918 600 1081 (Smart), and 0917 819 2803 (Globe). The public may also send a message via this email address.

High-profile inmate Raymond Dominguez found dead in Bilibid cell – BuCor

Robie de Guzman   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Convicted carjacker Raymond Dominguez was found lifeless inside his cell at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) confirmed Friday.

BuCor Spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag said Dominguez was found dead by his fellow inmates inside his cell at the NBP maximum security compound at past 6 a.m.

Chaclag said it appears that there was no sign of foul play in Dominguez’s demise but they will wait for the medico-legal report on the cause of death.

“Natagpuan siyang patay sa kaniyang bed so it appears that he died of natural causes pero pinaiimbestigahan pa natin. Wala namang foul play,” he said.

Dominguez had a history of diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, according to Chaclag.

Last year, BuCor denied rumors that Dominguez died of COVID-19 although it confirmed that the inmate had contracted the viral respiratory disease.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has asked the BuCor to submit a report on the inmate’s death.

Dominguez was brought to the NBP in April 2012 after he was convicted of carjacking.

He was said to be a part of the notorious carjack ring responsible for the string of carjacking incidents that made headlines in 2011.

Dominguez’s gang was also linked to other high-profile crimes, including the murder of car dealer Venson Evangelista. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mac Cordova)

New Bilibid Prison riot death toll climbs to 4

Robie de Guzman   •   November 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The number of inmates who perished in a riot that erupted Monday at the New Bilibid Prison’s maximum security compound has climbed to four, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said.

BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaklag said 20 other persons deprived of liberty (PDL) injured in the brawl are still undergoing medical treatment.

The bureau initially confirmed three fatalities and 64 wounded inmates in the incidence of violence that broke out Monday morning between the Sigue-Sigue Sputnik and Commando gangs.

The incident occurred exactly one month after a riot erupted inside the NBP maximum security compound that left nine inmates dead and several others injured.

Chaklag said inmates are currently not allowed to leave their cells as part of the disciplinary action imposed by the bureau following the incident.

“Binigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon dati, ano. Although mga kriminal yun, tinrato natin sila bilang tao at napakalaking bagay yun. Pinakinggan sila ng Chief for humanitarian reason, pagkakataon na ipagkasundo nila yung mga nag-aaway-away na miyembro pero ganun pa rin ang nangyari despite that,” he said.

“So medyo drastic ang actions natin ngayon, yung mga disciplinary action ang ibig nating sabihn,” he added.

Chaklag assured that the situation is now under control and that the NBP is back to normal operations. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mac Cordova)

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