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Bantag confirms there are PDLs in Bilibid who have died of COVID-19

Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag on Sunday confirmed that there have been persons deprived of liberty (PDL) at the New Bilibid Prison who died of COVID-19.

In a statement, Bantag said he could not disclose the names, citing the Data Privacy Act. He also did not mention how many inmates have died from the disease.

Meanwhile, he said many inmates also recovered from the respiratory illness.

“Indeed there are PDL (persons deprived of liberty) who died due to COVID-19. However, as much as we want to inform the public with respect to the names of PDL who died due to COVID-19, the data privacy act prohibits us from doing so,” Bantag said.

“Rest assured that the Bureau of Corrections is doing its best to address this pandemic. In fact, we have a high rate of recovery and we are glad to report to the public that all our interventions appear to be doing well and effective,” he added.

Bantag said that the BuCor has been doing quick identification, isolation and treatment, which have “greatly mitigated the risks brought about by the virus.”

Bantag added that the bureau has partnered with various government agencies, international organizations and non-government organizations to “strengthen its drive in addressing the pandemic.”

"We are thankful for the continued support of countless good samaritans who have unselfishly shared their resources, time and expertise with us in these very challenging times. Your support immensely boosts our morale especially when we feel at times that we are doing a risky but thankless job in this corner of our community. Together, we heal as one,” he said.

On Saturday, Bilibid inmate Jayvee Sebastian died at the NBP Hospital due to acute myocardial infarction as a complication of COVID-19.

No autopsy was done on the body.

His remains were cremated in a crematorium in Cavite.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said he has summoned Bantag to his office on Monday regarding the matter. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/BM, GMA News