The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has formed a special team to look deeper into the suspicious deaths of high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said he has directed NBI Director Medardo G. De Lemos to give the probe a priority.
“Ito ay priority natin kasi very suspicious yong deaths kina-kailangan masagot natin ng maayos (This is a priority because we have to answer the very suspicious deaths),” Remulla said.
He said he has learned that a witness surfaced and claimed that the high-profile inmates did not die due to Covid-19 infection but were killed.
He said his directive to form a special team was issued to De Lemos even if the NBI had filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal complaints against 22 members of the Philippine National Police’s National Capital Region Police Office (PNP-NCRPO) on the deaths of eight high-profile inmates in NBP.
He explained that he and his undersecretaries have looked at the complaints and believed that there is not enough evidence that could lead to convictions. “It would not build a case to convict,” he said.
Last July 1, the NBI’s Death Investigation Division (NBI-DID) filed the murder complaints before the DOJ following the conduct of an investigation directed by then Justice Secretary and now Solicitor General Menardo I. Guevarra.
“The National Bureau of Investigation-Death Investigation Division (NBI-DID) recommended for the filing of eight (8) counts of Murder against NCRPO personnel before the Department of Justice on the suspicious deaths of high-profile Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs), namely: Francis Go, Shuli Lim Zhang, Jimmy Ang, Eugene Chua, Benajamin Marcelo, Sherwin Sanchez, Amin Boratong, and Willy Yang,” the NBI said.
It identified those named in the complaints as PMaj. Lymel John Hayahay Pasquin, PSSg. Rannel Tanjura Gadiano, PSSg. Christian Aragon Mercarsos, PCpl. Laurence Rallos Antiporta, PCpl. Jhunben Oca Alegado, PCpl. Jayson Lequin Anonuevo, PCpl. Rosanie Mujeres Bernales, PCpl. Michael Hellacone Boco, PCpl. Rolex Margaja Borgonia, PCpl. Jophy Tagmayon Buot, PCpl. Gilwen Basallo Garcia, PCpl. Edmar Ilustisimo Gerra, PCpl. Archie Auman Grapa, PCpl. Vernardo Vispo Into, PCpl. Ener Perez Restauro, PCpl. Banedy Taliporos Solante, PCpl. Jernie Mata Tiongzon, Jan Anthon Todulf Tabotabo Uy,F TABOTABO UY, Pat. Roland Butch Pelostratus Duran, Pat. James Gemetiza Aninapon, Pat. Rey Reponte Fernandez, and Dr. Beverly De Guzman.