Bilibid riot probe to look into assassination angle on drug convict’s death

Published November 11, 2020, 3:55 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Investigators will look into the possibility that slain convicted Filipino drug financier Calvin Tan had been a target for assassination during the latest riot at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) assured on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

The New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. (Jonathan Hicap / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Kasama po iyan sa aming titingnan sa aming investigation na gagawin (This will be one of the things we will look into),” said BuCor Spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag during the Kapaihan sa Manila Bay with Marichu Villanueva.

Aside from the BuCor, Chaclag said that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will also be looking into this possibility.

“I think the secretary has ordered an NBI team to look into that,” he said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has instructed the NBI to investigate the riot that took place at the Maximum Security Compound of the NBP last Monday morning, Nov. 9.

“We have a lot of CCTV (closed circuit television) records at different angles,” Chaclag noted.

He also said the recordings of the incident posted by inmates in social media will also help in the investigation.

Chaclag confirmed that Tan is a member of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik (SSS) gang and is one of four Bilibid inmates who was killed in the latest riot. There were also 62 other inmates who got hurt from the incident.

“Hindi po siya Chinese (He is not Chinese). He is a Filipino national. He was convicted of drug offenses in Cebu,” the spokespersons said.

Tan was convicted for drug charges and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 by the Cebu City Regional Trial Court (RTC) over the Mandaue City mega illegal drugs laboratory that was discovered in 2004 and where around P1.3 billion worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu were seized by police.

Citing a report from the BuCor’s Directorate for Health Services (DHS), the spokespersons said all four dead inmates sustained “gunshot wounds and puncture wounds.”

Meanwhile, Chaclag assured that the BuCor will continue to monitor the situation at the Bilibid and will continue to conduct searches for weapons considering this is the second riot at the NBP after a month.

Last Oct. 9, a fight broke out between the SSS and the Sigue Sigue Commando (SSC) gangs at Quadrant 4 of the NBP’s Maximum Security Compound and resulted in the deaths of nine inmates and the wounding of seven other persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

The BuCor earlier said the Oct. 9 riot happened “because of perceived disrespect to an LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) member of one group.”