Press Release
January 4, 2022

De Lima underscores need to address root causes
of violent behavior of Bilibid inmates

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima urged authorities to find out the underlying causes of the recent riot in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) that left three (3) persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) dead.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, said she believes that there are greater reasons more than "petty skirmishes" that led to the said riot and other previous violent incidents.

"More than petty skirmishes, there must be underlying causes for the general restlessness among the Bilibid PDLs that induce violent behavior. Reports reaching my office speak of rampant irregularities, including drug use," she said in a statement posted on Twitter.

"I hope investigators of this latest incident at NBP's Maximum Security Compound go beyond finding out the culprits who started the riot and punishing them. Dapat alamin nang masinop ang mga kababalaghan ngayon dyan," she added.

Aside from 3 dead PDLs, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag said 14 other inmates also sustained injuries from bullets fired from improvised weapons.

Chaclag further confirmed that seven (7) PDLs who were believed to have played major parts in the violence were identified and will receive appropriate disciplinary actions.

De Lima, who consistently sought for much needed reforms in the country's prison and correctional systems, has repeatedly pushed for measures that would help uphold the rights and dignity of PDLs and ensure that they receive humane treatment while in prison, and at the same time address prison-based criminality thru structural, organizational and physical reforms.

This 18th Congress, De Lima, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, filed bills, logged as Senate Bills No. 180 and 181, that both aim to implement comprehensive reforms in the country's prison and correctional systems.

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