A Chinese drug lord died while three other high-profile inmates including Jaybee Sebastian and Peter Co were hurt in a stabbing incident inside Building 14 of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) on Wednesday morning.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the stabbing incident happened at around 7:40 a.m.
Aguirre identified the slain Chinese drug lord as Tony Co.
He said Peter Co was in critical condition while Sebastian was already in a stable condition at the Medical Center of Muntinlupa City.
Another high-profile inmate, Vicente Sy, was also hurt in the incident. He was rushed to the Ospital ng Muntinlupa.
Building 14 houses high-profile inmates, including top drug lords.
Visitation rights of inmates in the national penitentiary have been suspended following the incident.
The stabbing incident happened even as Building 14 was heavily guarded by members of the police’s elite Special Action Force (SAF).
In a press conference, Bureau of Corrections acting chief Rolando Asuncion the three Chinese drug lords were having a shabu session in the room of Tony Co before the stabbing incident happened.
Asuncion said another inmate, former police chief inspector Clarence Dongail, reprimanded the three Chinese drug lords for having a shabu session.
“Wag n’yo namang gagawin iyan dito, lahat tayo madadamay kung malalaman ng mga SAF o ng Bucor ang ginagawa ninyo,” Asuncion told members of the media, quoting Dongail.
He said Dongail was watching TV at the common area when Tony Co attacked him with a bladed weapon.
Dongail suffered a minor injury in the leg and refused to be rushed to a hospital, Asuncion said.
He said Sebastian was also in the common area when the incident happened. The attack led to a riot involving at least eight inmates, he added.
Two factions in Building 14
Asuncion said that they had suspected that two factions have been formed inside Building 14, possibly due to the ongoing investigation of the House of Representatives Committee on Justice on the alleged drug trade inside the NBP.
“Noon pa man ay malakas ang suspetsa namin base sa informal interview ko sa mga inmates, nag-iiringan ang dalawang grupo sa loob ng Building 14… Siguro iyong ongoing investigation sa House [ang dahilan],” Asuncion said.
Asuncion told members of the media that Dongail and Sebastian are known enemies.
“Ito (Dongail) iyong sinasabi nilang isang bumubundol kay Jaybee, sumisira,” he said.
Asuncion said Dongail is a leader of the Batang City Jail gang while Jaybee and the three Chinese drug lords are members of the Commando Gang.
He said they still have no information of a brewing bigger riot among the supporters of the high-profile inmates.
Asuncion expressed fear that the NBP security may not be able to handle a bigger riot, particularly in the maximum security compound, where at least 15,000 people are detained.
Sebastian, an alleged drug lord and gang leader, had been invited to attend the House of Representatives committee hearing set on October 5.
Aguirre had said that they will soon file charges against Sen. Leila de Lima, the former secretary of the Department of Justice, for her alleged involvement in the drug trade at the national penitentiary.
A witness had said during the House hearing that Peter Co gave De Lima P5 million for the release of his niece.
The justice secretary had said that he believes Sebastian will testify for De Lima.
Aguirre said during an interview with GMA News after the riot said they still had no idea how the Chinese drug lords were able to sneak the shabu inside the heavily-guarded building.
He reiterated an earlier admission of the Bureau of Corrections that only 90 percent of the illegal items being hidden in the inmates’ quarters have been discovered and confiscated by the SAF and BuCor operatives during Oplan Galugad implementations.
Asuncion, meanwhile, said the SAF men has already made a sweep at Building 14 and have recovered a few items.
The BuCor chief did not mention when a thorough sweep of the detention building, will be conducted.
He also admitted that they are clueless on how the high-profile inmates were able to hide weapons and drugs in the heavily-guarded building.
“Napaka-creative nila na magtago ng ilegal na bagay sa kanilang lugar,” Asuncion said, adding that the still believes that the SAF men securing the building remain untainted.
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