The Department of Justice (DOJ) will look into reports that an inmate at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City escaped last June 1 when a fight ensued among four prisoners that resulted in the death of one of them.
DOJ Undersecretary Deo L. Marco, who has supervision over the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), confirmed on Monday, June 7, that he heard about the escape. “I have asked for a formal report,” he said.
Marco said he will go to BuCor on Tuesday, June 8.
He did not provide any details on the escape. BuCor Deputy Director General Gabriel P. Chaclag has not confirmed the incident.
But sources identified the escapee as Edgardo Austria who was detained at the National Bilibid Prison’s (NBP) minimum security compound.
The same sources said that Austria escaped while NBP personnel were conducting search operation against prohibited items inside the prison’s maximum and medium security compound. It was also during the search operation that a fight among four inmates ensued.
Last June 4, BuCor said it will impose sanctions to the full extent of the law on persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who were found involved in the death of an inmate last June 1.
“Identified na ang mga PDLs involved at sila ay mabibigyan ng due punishments upon investigation (The PDLs involved in the incident have been identified and will get punishments following the conduct of an investigation),” Chaclag said.
He clarified that no riot took place during the incident that led to the death of the inmate. He said the incident happened when BuCor personnel were conducting search operations for prohibited items at the maximum and medium security compounds of the NBP.
“Hindi mo matawag na riot yun (You can’t call that a riot),” he stressed.
“Nag-away ang dalawang PDLs at kumampi yung iba (Two PDLs fought and others took sides),” he explained as he pointed out that personnel who were conducting the search operations responded immediately to quell the fight.
“Isa ang may tama ng saksak at namatay (An inmate got stabbed and died),” he lamented.
“Meron naman tatlo na ginamot sa hospital at lumabas din dahil minor injuries lang naman (There were three other inmates who were taken to the hospital but eventually released for minor injuries),” he said.
He added that some inmates who suffered scratches and lumps were no longer taken to the hospital.
Last Thursday, June 3, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra assured that necessary steps will be taken following the death of a PDL at the NBP last June 1.
Guevarra said he has yet to receive the report from BuCor. “We’ll act after we have read the full report,” he said.
He said he may consider the investigation of the June 1 incident to determine if there is liability on the part of BuCor.