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Truce fails: 3 dead, 64 injured as warring gangs clash again in Bilibid

MANILA, Philippines (Philippine Daily Inquirer) -- A truce between warring gangs in New Bilibid Prison at Muntinlupa City failed on Monday, resulting in fresh violence that left at least three inmates dead and 64 others injured.
The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said a free-for-all broke out at the national penitentiary’s maximum security compound at 8:39 am after a member of the Sigue Sigue Commando gang was stabbed by another inmate.
“It started just with small groups, who retaliated [against each other when attacked]. Then the violence grew,” BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag said.

Maximum security concern Commandos swoop down on New Bilibid Prison’s maximum security compound in Muntinlupa City to break up Monday morning’s riot between two rival gangs that left three inmates dead and more than 60 others injured.   --Photo from Bucor Pio

Police called in
Chaclag said Special Weapons and Tactics officers were deployed to quell the violence, but they were met with gunfire, forcing the bureau to call the police for backup.
Officers from the Philippine National Police Special Action Force, National Capital Region Police Office and the Bureau of Fire Protection arrived to help the BuCor security force break up the riot.
The BuCor said the riot was contained at about 10 am but clearing operations only ended just before evening Chaclag did not identify the other gang involved, but Bilibid sources said it was the Sigue Sigue Sputnik, which clashed with the Sigue Sigue Commando at Bilibid’s Quadrant 4 on October 9. Nine inmates were killed in that riot and seven were injured.
The BuCor had yet to identify the dead in Monday’s riot, all Sputnik gang members. Chaclag said six wounded inmates were being treated at Ospital ng Muntinlupa.
In a press statement, the BuCor said it would discipline the inmates responsible for the outbreak of violence.
It said bureau personnel who were in their offices at the height of the riot were evacuated.
The bureau, however, had no answer when asked how the inmates got hold of firearms. “It will be part of the investigation,” Chaclag said.
He said Bilibid and six other prison farms and penal colonies in the country were placed on the highest alert to “ensure peace and order” after the second deadly clash between rival gangs in the national penitentiary.
NBI probe ordered
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate Monday’s riot at Bilibid.
Guevarra said the Department of Justice (DOJ), which oversees the BuCor, would also look into the possible liability of Bilibid and BuCor officials for their failure to prevent riots in the national penitentiary.
“These BuCor officials should have learned their lesson from the previous violent incident where several [prisoners] were killed,” Guevarra said in a Viber message.
“The DOJ has ordered the BuCor to submit a detailed report [immediately]. I will direct the NBI to conduct a parallel investigation or expand its ongoing probe into the previous violence,” he said.

(Latest Update November 11, 2020)

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