New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON
UPDATED. MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed murder charges against 22 police officers for the death of 8 New Bilibid Prison inmates (NBP) inmates.
NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin confirmed in a text message that the 22 are from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) assigned to the Bureau of Corrections at the time of the inmates’ death.
NBI investigation showed that COVID-19 may have used as a cover for the deaths of the inmates.
The complaint was filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The NBI conducted an investigation upon orders of the DOJ on July 2020 following the death of high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian.
READ: DOJ orders probe into high-profile inmate deaths at NBP due to COVID-19
However, BuCor has refused to give details and disclose identities of the inmates citing the Data Privacy Act.
Then Senate President Vicente Sotto III quoting an unnamed police official said there is no more way of knowing if BuCor replaced the body of the inmate as there were no more finger prints.
Then, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the Data Privacy Act could not be used as a reason for not disclosing the deaths of inmates citing transparency to prevent abuses such as fake or simulated deaths.
READ: Deaths of high-profile NBP inmates raise questions – Sotto