Bilibid inmate dies of coronavirus disease

MANILA, Philippines – A Bilibid inmate has died of COVID-19, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) announced Friday evening, April 24.

The inmate died April 23 while confined at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the BuCor added.

"Official notification to the next of kin of the Person Deprived of Liberty (PDL) was done and the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Hospital staff had coordinated with RITM for proper disposition of the patient's remains," said BuCor.

The inmate is so far the first and only reported coronavirus case in the congested New Bilibid Prison. In an earlier report, the BuCor said it was monitoring 9 Bilibid inmates suspected of having coronavirus.

"Those PDLs traced to have had interaction with the patient and who were earlier quarantined remains asymptomatic [without symptoms] as of this time. Proper health monitoring is being given to improve their stamina and increase their chance of surviving the disease," said BuCor.

The death of the Bilibid inmate shortly followed an announcement by BuCor earlier Friday evening that two more inmates of the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) had contracted the COVID-19.

In total, and including the inmate who died, there have been 22 convicts with confirmed cases of coronavirus – 21 of them from the CIW. (READ: 'TAKOT NA TAKOT KAMI' While government stalls, coronavirus breaks into PH jails

The confirmed and suspected coronavirus patients are isolated at the Site Harry facility inside Bilibid in Muntinlupa.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has eased the process for applying for parole and executive clemency, but still excluded from the relaxed rules heinous crime, high risk and drug convicts. –

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.