Tension still high at NBP after gang war left 9 dead

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    A RIOT between two warring gangs at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City last Friday resulted in the death of nine inmates and injury to seven others, leaving Justice and Bureau of Corrections officials scrambling to defuse the tension that has threatened to erupt into a full scale war.

    Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said the BuCor, headed by Director General Gerald Bantag, has put in place additional security measures to scuttle plans by one of the gangs to conduct retaliatory attacks that endanger more than 28,000 inmates detained at the national penitentiary.

    Guevarra identified the warring gangs as the the Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Sigue Sigue Commando. Seven of the inmates killed in the brawl where members of Sigue Sigue Sputnik while the other two belonged to Sigue Sigue Commando.

    Guevarra did not say why no reports of the brawl were released to the media over the weekend. He said, however, that the retaliatory attack was supposed to take place last Sunday.

    “The situation was still tense as of yesterday. There were intel reports that one group was amassing to strike back at the rival group but prison authorities, with the assistance of the police, have so far contained the violence,” Guevarra said.

    Guevarra said he is waiting for a more thorough report from Bantag, including security measures at the NBP.

    He had earlier directed NBI officer in charge Eric Distor to conduct an investigation on the deadly brawl and to file appropriate charges against anyone involved and found responsible for the incident. The NBI was given 10 days to submit its report.

    Guevarra also ordered the immediate relief and preventive suspension of all BuCor officials and personnel who “appear to be administratively liable for their negligence” that resulted in the incident.