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176 deceased Bilibid inmates still in funeral parlor since December 2021

Around 176 bodies of deceased inmates from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) were still at a funeral parlor in Alabang since December 2021.

In Mark Salazar’s report on “24 Oras” on Monday, the Eastern Funeral Homes — the solely accredited funeral home of the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa City — appealed to the government to bury the bodies to ease their storage problems.

“Natural deaths. 'Yung iba subject for autopsy pero tapos na rin po autopsy ng mga yan” said Eastern Funeral Homes manager Charlie Bucani.

(Natural deaths. Some were subject to autopsy but these have been completed.)

“Halos lahat nang namamatay sa Bilibid dito talaga, maliban na lang sa COVID case nila. Di kasi kami nagkikita noong ano nila eh...'yung mga namatay sa COVID. Nung time kasi ng mga namatay sa COVID bale sila po nagpapa-cremate eh,” he said.

(Almost all the corpses from Bilibid were being delivered here except the ones related to COVID-19. We do not handle that because during the height of the pandemic, they were the ones organizing the cremation.)

Bucani said about 50 to 60 corpses are being added to the pile of cadavers per month. Among them was Cristito Villamor Palaña who was alleged to be a middleman in the killing of radio broadcaster Percy Lapid.

“Katulad ngayon isa lang namatay kahapon isa rin. Halos isa, dalawa ganon. Di naman lahat ng araw may namamatay po eh,” he added.

(Like today, one died. Yesterday there was one too. There are one to two deaths sometimes. But it’s not every day someone will pass away.)

Justice Secretary Crispin Jesus “Boying” Remulla said the police would  investigate the matter and look into the reasons behind the inmates’ deaths.

“One of the things that surprised the investigators, in this case, was the fact that when they went to Eastern Funeral Homes for the autopsy, the first autopsy conducted by the NBI, they were surprised to see more than 30 corpses inside the funeral home, '' said Remulla.

“This is now being studied by the police. We want to know how all these people died. The cause of death and the facts surrounding their deaths. But the rest of the organization we cannot tell now. We will study it. We can know how long this has been going on,” he said.

According to Bucani, they cannot share the personal details of the deceased with the media but they have already forwarded it to the police for their probe.

He reiterated his call to have the bodies buried.

“Actually meron nga po kaming request sa BuCor subject for burial po nasa 126 eh na mga unclaimed cadaver. Dapat nitong buwan na po. Wala na po nag-claim. Lapsed na po sila. Kumbaga, overdue na po sila,” Bucani added.

(We had a request with the BuCor for the burial of around 126 unclaimed cadavers. It should be this month because no one is claiming them. It already lapsed. They are long overdue.) — Sundy Locus/DVM, GMA Integrated News