Seventy cadavers of inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinljupa City that have been stored at the Eastern Funeral Homes are set to be buried today, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Gregorio Catapang Jr. said Thursday.
“Bukas ho, maglilibing tayo ng 70,” Catapang said during a program for the release of more than 200 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla confirmed today’s interment of the 70 deceased prisoners.
He said the cadavers were all from the Eastern Funeral Homes.
“Hindi na kaya i-autopsy ang iba, eh, kasi advanced state na. Mummified na nga ‘yung iba, talagang natuyo na. Very dry. So very, very valiant effort ang kinakailangan para malaman mo talaga sa autopsy,” he said.
In early November, authorities found 176 bodies of deceased inmates from the New Bilibid Prison at the Eastern Funeral Homes.
Catapang previously said 10 bodies had been buried already, leaving only 166 at the funeral parlor.
Meanwhile, Remulla was eyeing the transfer of the cadavers to the University of the Philippines College of Medicine for an autopsy.
Asked when the memorandum of agreement with UP will be signed, Remulla expressed hope that things will be cleared in the next seven to 10 days.
“Ano kasi syempre marami talagang ginagawa ngayon and year end pa… meron ho tayong mga kailangan tapusin,” Remulla said.
Remulla said he will talk to forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun during the weekend so they can update each other.
“And just to make sure that we’re on the same page about what we want to happen in the future. Because the signing of the MOA with UP was delayed.” The Secretary said.
Asked about investigating high-profile inmates at the NBP who supposedly died due to COVID-19, Remulla said there were “feelers” that some individuals wished to speak about happenings in the BuCor.
“Most of them are PDLs. The PDLs really know a lot. There’s saying that if the walls could talk, they would have already spoken. Of course, there are a lot of secrets behind the complex,” Remulla said.
Meanwhile, workers on Friday recovered skeleton parts at a construction site inside the main office of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Padre Faura, Manila.
The bones were excavated at the former building where the library was located. Remulla said the skeletons will be examined.
“We will have the same examined by the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation,” Remulla said in an interview.
This is not the first time that skeletal remains were discovered inside the DOJ main office.
In 2005, five skulls and human bones were found at the construction site of what now stood as Forum Building where state prosecutors hold office.
A DOJ official previously said that a garrison used by Japanese soldiers once stood at what is now the DOJ building.