Closer look into NBP deaths ordered

Looking into the documents, we felt they were not strong enough to secure a conviction. It was going to build a case that will acquit.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct another case build-up into the questionable deaths of eight high-profile New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Remulla admitted that the cases the NBI filed against 22 police officers of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) implicated in the deaths before the Department of Justice (DoJ), are not strong enough to secure a conviction.

“Looking into the documents, we felt they were not strong enough to secure a conviction. It was going to build a case that will acquit,” Remulla said.

With this, Remulla ordered a case build-up to the NBI to determine what really happened inside the jail,” said the justice chief.

The inmates died under suspicious circumstances while detained at the NBP maximum security compound, the control of which was under the members of the NCRPO security and medical teams.

Their deaths have spawned suspicion of foul play because they died during the pandemic lockdowns from May to June 2020 despite testimonies from other prisoners that they were in good health.

Except for one inmate, their remains were said to be hastily cremated.

The NBI, following the death of inmate Jayvee Sebastian and other inmates, was formally tasked to launch an investigation.

Then NBI OIC Eric Distor in DoJ Order 179, was directed to launch a probe and file charges against anyone if necessary.

Report had it that Sebastian died while undergoing treatment at the NBP hospital due to acute myocardial infarction as a complication of Covid-19.

However, Remulla said there is a witness that would prove that Sebastian did not die of Covid-19.


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