Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla has expressed his “stern desire to hold all those involved accountable” in the deaths of inmates due to alleged Covid-19 infections at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
Remulla’s meeting with newly appointed National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Officer-in-Charge Medardo G. De Lemos on Monday, July 4, was confirmed by lawyer Jose Dominic Clavano of the Office of the Secretary of Justice.
The meeting was held after the NBI filed before the DOJ a murder complaint against members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on their alleged involvement in the deaths of high-profile inmates.
“The issue was discussed and SOJ (Secretary of Justice) wanted to validate the facts already presented but would like to inquire more into the incident,” Clavano said.
NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand M. Lavin earlier said that 22 members of the PNP’s National Capital Region Police Office (PNP-NCRPO) were named as respondents in the murder complaint.
All respondents who were assigned at the NBP when the deaths of the inmates occurred were accused of having committed eight counts of murder.
In 2020, then Justice Secretary and now Solicitor General Menardo I. Guevarra ordered the NBI to investigate the deaths of high-profile inmates at the NBP allegedly due to the Covid-19 disease.
From May to July 2020, there were at least nine high-profile NBP inmates who allegedly died from Covid-19 -- Jaybee Sebastian, Amin Imam Boratong, Eugene Ho Chua, Francis Go, Benjamin Marcelo, Sherwin Sanchez, Willy Yang, Shuli Lim Zhang, and Hung Kin Sing also known as Jimmy Ang.