All inmates safe after Bilibid fire: DOJ

MANILA Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa are all safe and accounted for following a fire that broke out in the penitentiary early Wednesday.

Guevarra informed reporters that at about 2:50 a.m., a fire was reported at the Sam Sung Company Handicraft production/work area building inside the Medium Security Compound (Medsecom) of the NBP.

The fire reached fourth alarm and other Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) units and fire trucks from adjacent municipalities augmented responding local firefighters.

It was declared under control by BFP-Muntinlupa at 6:52 a.m.

Guevarra, quoting prison officials, said the cause of the fire is still under investigation but all inmates at Medsecom have been accounted for and reported complete by Camp Supervisor CI Artemio Martin at 7:30 a.m., with zero injury and casualty.

All 5,820 inmates were present and in good condition and no other building was damaged or affected aside from the Sam Sung handicraft workplace building that caught fire.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and Sam Sung began in 1990 and progressed through 1998 with the establishment of the present concrete building.

The MOA was initially effective for five years and was extended to 20 years, with the approval of then justice secretary Silvestre Bello III.

Supplemental MOAs or revisions were later signed to adjust the production-sharing scheme and to comply with Department of Labor and Employment rules.

After the assumption of Assistant Secretary Valfrie Tabian as Deputy Director General for Administration of the BuCor, the MOA was renewed for another 15 years under new terms and conditions. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency