The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has vowed to investigate the deaths of inmates due to COVID-19, its spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said.
De Guia was referring to the 19 inmates in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) who died of COVID-19 as confirmed by Bureau of Corrections spokesperson Colonel Gabriel Chaclag.
Likewise, Chaclag said that the national penitentiary has recorded 343 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, July 20.
“Noon pang Marso, nakikipagugnayan na kami sa jail authorities sa sitwasyon roon sa kulungan amid COVID-19, including deaths under custody. Ito pong bagong report, makakaasa po kayo na kami ay magsasagawa ng aksiyon,” de Guia said in a Dobol B sa News TV interview.
De Guia then said that offhand, the situation of inmates leaves much to be desired mainly due to congestion.
“May kahirapan talalaga. Walang sapat na medical attention, kaya dapat makipag-ugnayan sila sa Department of Health (DOH),” de Guia said.
“Kaya nariyan rin iyong panawagan namin sa Supreme Court na palayain iyong mga elderly at iyong mga may light offenses lamang to decongest,” de Guia added.
De Guia then said that protection of rights is for all, including those in prison.
“Lahat naman po ng mamamayan, dapat may sapat na kalinga na binibigay ang pamahalaan, kahit sino, kahit ano po ang katayuan at posisyon sa lipunan,” de Guia said.
As of Sunday, the Philippines has recorded 67,456 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Total recoveries numbered 22,465 while the death toll was at 1,831. The number of active cases is 43,160. —KG, GMA News