DOJ confirms one of slain inmates a convicted drug financier

Published November 11, 2020, 9:45 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

One of those killed during the latest riot in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City is a convicted Filipino drug financier who was sentenced to life imprisonment for operating a mega narcotics laboratory discovered in 2004 in Mandaue City and where P1.3 billion worth of crystal meth or shabu was seized, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Wednesday.

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

DOJ Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar identified the convicted slain NBP inmate as Calvin Tan who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 by the Cebu City Regional Trial Court (RTC) over the Mandaue City mega illegal drugs lab that was discovered in 2004.

“They just confirmed the offense and crime were committed in Mandaue,” the DOJ spokesperson,citing a report from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), said.

Villar said that “based on Calvin Tan’s prison record, he has the same first, middle, and last name as Calvin Tan who was extradited from Hong Kong and the same age, so we can already report that it is the same person.”

She added that Tan is one of four inmates who were slain during the riot at the NBP Maximum Security Compound that occurred on Monday, Nov. 9.

Aside from those who were killed, she said there were also 62 other Bilibid inmates who were hurt in the riot.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the latest riot at the NBP.

He also wants to find out if there was negligence on the part of BuCor officials and personnel, including BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag, that resulted in the riot.

“These BuCor officials should have learned their lesson from the previous violent incident where several PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) were killed,” Guevarra had earlier said.

“The DOJ has ordered the BuCor to submit a detailed report ASAP (as soon as possible),” he added.

Guevarra had previously ordered the NBI to investigate the Oct. 9 riot at the Quadrant 4 of the NBP’s Maximum Security Compound where nine inmates were killed and seven others were hurt.

The Oct. 9 riot stemmed from a fight between the Sigue Sigue Sputnik (SSS) and Sigue Sigue Commando (SSC) gangs.

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