FOUR inmates, instead of just three, were killed in a bloody riot between two rival gangs at the New Bilibid Prison last Monday, according to an official of the Justice Department.
Undersecretary and DOJ spokesperson Emmeline Aglipay-Villar identified the four as Ace P. Pempena, Calvin D. Tan, Edgar P. Publico and Jonathan G. Rodriguez.
This was confirmed by Bureau of Corrections spokesman Gabriel Chaclag in a radio interview.
The number of injured in the clash between members of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Sigue Sigue Commando gangs remained at 64.
Last month, a similar deadly confrontation left nine inmates dead and seven others injured.
Chaclag said 20 of the injured were referred to outside hospitals while the rest were brought back to their detention centers after being given first aid.
He said the 20 did not sustain life-threatening or critical wounds but were brought to outside hospitals such as the Ospital ng Muntinlupa due to lack of facilities at the NBP Hospital.
Chaclag said nobody among the four killed were high-risk, high-profile detainees. He said high-profile inmates are separated from other prisoners detained at the maximum security compound.
Chaclag has yet to confirm if Tan was the same person who was convicted several years ago in connection with a shabu laboratory raided by the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Mandaue City, Cebu.
He said the timely response of the BuCor security force and those from the PNP-SWAT and PNP-SAF prevented what could have been a deadlier confrontation. He added that some of the inmates tried to burn their dormitories at the height of the free-for-all.
Chaclag said one of the possible causes of the deadly clash may have been the growing restlessness of inmates after several months without visitation rights due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – With Noel Talacay