By Jonathan M. Hicap
A total of 910 prisoners at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City have fallen ill due to apparent food poisoning since Friday.
Director General Benjamin delos Santos of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) told The Manila Bulletin that the “proximate cause is food served by caterer Thursday evening.”
However, investigators are also testing the facility’s water source.
“(We) will do lab tests on food and water tomorrow (May 29),” said Delos Santos.
Quoting the NBP report, he said 69 prisoners have been confined at the NBP Hospital and that one of them – an elderly inmate – was in critical condition.
“He is an elderly inmate from the minimum security compound and has been ill before,” he noted.
At least 600 other prisoners were diagnosed with diarrhea and attended to by doctors at the NBP Hospital emergency room since Friday.
Delos Santos said a total of 910 prisoners were affected including those who showed symptoms of diarrhea but could just treated at their own dormitories in the Minimum Security, Medium Security and Maximum Security compounds.
NBP Hospital doctors were reportedly orienting leaders of prison blocks on the proper response to treat diarrhea.
Relatives of some of the inmates who rushed to the NBP to bring water and food said they spotted two water tankers enter the facility to ration water.
The NBP has more than 22,000 inmates. (With a report from PNA)