MANILA — Several doctors inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) have been recommended to be relieved from their post following questionable outside referrals to private hospitals given to high profile inmates in a span of two weeks without clearance from Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima.
De Lima on Friday said that Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, the undersecretary-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), made the recommendation following several reports that high profile inmates managed to go to private hospitals without her clearance.
Herbert Colangco alias “Ampang” was brought to the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa City last May 27.
Colangco is the leader of the bank robbery gang responsible for the heists in 2003 in Pampanga, and Quezon City and Paranaque City in 2005.
Amin Buratong, the operator of the shabu “tiangge” (drug flea market) was taken to Medical City, Pasig City reportedly due to recurring coronary disease and a liver ailment last May 13.
Another convicted drug lord Ricardo Camata, commander of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik gang, was taken May 28 to the Metropolitan Hospital in Manila for a lung ailment. Starlet Krista Miller, who said she visited only to sell a condominium unit, and television dancers were among his visitors.
De Lima said that Baraan already submitted an initial report to her.
“There is a recommendation in the initial report to relieve doctors in the NBP hospital, about a couple of them responsible in issuing so-called emergency referrals,” De Lima said.
De Lima added that Usec. Baraan, based on his initial probe, believes these are “not really an emergency situation and therefore should have sought prior approval from me.”
De Lima said that she will create a body to dig deeper into the private hospitalization of high profile inmates particularly those who are believed to be “monied drug inmates.”
“There are a few more recommendations… I’m still studying other recommendations but, definitely, I will be constituting a committee or a fact-finding panel to expand the investigation,” she said. “But the [Baraan] initial report should serve as a very good starting point for the expanded probe. We’re going to have really an honest-to-goodness serious and expanded probe into this whole thing.”