Bilibid riot: Drug lord killed, 4 others hurt
Brawl ensues over shabu session
MANILA, Philippines – A high-profile Chinese drug lord was killed while four others, including controversial convict Jaybee Sebastian, were wounded during a riot inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City yesterday.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the riot broke out after an inmate reprimanded other convicts engaged in a shabu session.
Aguirre identified the dead as Tony Co, whose Chinese name is Xu You Kwang. He said Co and two other injured Chinese convicts, Peter Co and Vicente Sy, are among the biggest drug traders in the country.
Tony Co was among six Chinese nationals convicted in June 2011 for the 2001 kidnapping of Jacky Tiu in La Union. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison without possibility of parole. He and two others were meted an additional 17 years and four months for stealing the victim’s car.
Tiu, who is married to former Philippine National Police chief Arturo Lomibao, confirmed to The STAR that Tony Co was indeed one of her kidnappers, and that they were dismayed to have learned that he and another of her kidnappers had evolved from kidnapping to drugs when the incident of the “Bilibid 19” broke out in 2014.
Also injured in yesterday’s incident was former police chief inspector Clarence Dongail and Sebastian, a prison leader being asked by officials to testify in the congressional investigation against Sen. Leila de Lima.
Dongail reportedly reprimanded the two Cos and Sy for using shabu. Peter and the other inmates then attacked Dongail, triggering the riot.
Initial reports said up to eight inmates figured in the melee.
“He (Dongail) told them to stop what they were doing because everybody in the facility would be affected if authorities find out that there’s still shabu there,” Aguirre said.
When Dongail went to Sebastian’s cell, Tony followed him and the brawl ensued, he added.
Sebastian suffered stab wounds in the hand and stomach and was rushed to the Muntinlupa Medical Center.
Sy, on the other hand, also sustained stab wounds at his back and was confined in the same hospital in serious condition.
Dongail sustained injuries but chose to be treated inside the penitentiary.
Sebastian said he was talking with Dongail in the mess hall when Peter Co and Sy appeared and invited them to go to the cell of Tony Co for a meeting.
He said the attack took place inside the cell of Tony.
Sebastian said that Thomas, an inmate from Building 14, attacked him with an ice pick. He said he was able to fight back during a scuffle for the weapon.
Dongail, on the other hand, attacked Tony Co and Sy, he said.
Peter Co, however, claimed he was in the mess hall when he got an invitation from Tony for a meeting at his cell. He declined to go alone and went with Sy.
Peter claimed they were inside the cell with Dongail when another inmate got inside and attacked Tony and Sy. He did not identify the attacker.
Prison officials said the statements of the two inmates point to two possible suspects – Thomas and Dongail – as the attackers.
Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Rolando Asuncion said the seven to eight inmates involved in the riot are from two rival gangs. The violence ended quickly and occurred in a contained area separate from the larger inmate population.
He said it’s not clear what kind of injuries the victims sustained but an ice pick and other materials were confiscated.
“It was a plain riot that lasted only for a minute,” he said, adding that riots are a regular occurrence in prison.
The riot took place a day after prison officials installed a powerful military type cellphone signal jammer that practically shut down all signals in Building 14, the high security prison facility at the maximum security compound where 33 high profile convicts, including the so-called Bilibid 19 led by Sebastian, are confined.
Asuncion said some of the inmates at Building 14 could be transferred to other penal facilities to prevent a repeat of the riot.
He said the maximum security compound, which can accommodate 4,000 inmates, is now overcrowded with up to 15,000 convicts.
Asuncion said the convicts in Building 14 are confined in separate cells but every morning they are allowed to go out to exercise in a common area.
Asuncion said he is still awaiting the report from the police Special Action Force (SAF) that has taken over security of the NBP.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa has ordered the SAF to conduct an investigation into the riot.
“We are now conducting an investigation on that. I hope they (SAF) will come up with a very good investigation on what really happened,” Dela Rosa said.
He said the riot would change the security atmosphere inside the prison, especially among the leaders and members of various gangs.
“That will create distrust among them, they will now feel suspicious on everybody inside,” he said.
Over 300 SAF commandos were deployed to secure the NBP to prevent inmates and jailguards from bringing contraband inside the jail, particularly in the maximum security area.
The SAF took over security in the NBP after a series of raids indicated high-value inmates were enjoying luxuries inside the penal facility.
Dela Rosa, however, could not say whether the riot would force Sebastian to testify against De Lima.
“I don’t know. You better ask him. I don’t know him personally, I don’t know what’s inside his mind,” he said. – With Edu Punay, Cecille Suerte Felipe
BP riot: Drug lord killed; 4 wounded
Philippine Daily Inquirer September 29, 2016
A CONVICTED Chinese drug lord was killed and four other high-profile inmates, one of them identified by Sen. Leila de Lima as a “government asset,” were wounded in what Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II described as a riot inside New Bilibid Prison (NBP) on Wednesday.
Tony Co succumbed to stab wounds as he was being rushed to Medical Center Muntinlupa(MCM), Aguirre told reporters.
Wounded were inmates Jaybee Sebastian, Peter Co, Vicente Sy and former Chief Insp. Clarence Dongail. Co, Sy and Dongail belonged to the so-called Bilibid 19 tagged by the previous Aquino administration as the ones running the illegal drug trade in NBP.
A convicted kidnapper, Sebastian had served as a government asset who provided information on the activities of drug syndicates in NBP, according to De Lima, when she was the justice secretary.
Aguirre said Peter Co was critically wounded, while Sebastian, Sy and Dongail were declared in stable condition by Dr. Uriel Halum, administrator of MMC, which was placed under heavy guard by Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.
Inside their cell
According to Aguirre, Tony Co and other Chinese inmates were using “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) in their cell in Building 14, where the Bilibid 19 were being held, at 7 a.m. when Dongail tried to stop them.
He said inmate Edcar Singco told Dongail what the Chinese convicts were doing.
“Don’t use shabu here because all of us will be in trouble,” the justice chief quoted Dongail as saying to Tony Co. “That started the riot.”
Aguirre said Tony Co went to the cell of Sebastian and Dongail and stabbed them with a knife.
Aguirre did not say how Tony Co was able to obtain the illegal drugs and knife since Building 14 was considered the most secured prison building within NBP’s maximum compound.
He had also previously claimed that the Duterte administration was able to stem the proliferation of illicit drugs inside NBP when SAF troopers replaced the jail guards of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in July.
Multiple stab wounds
According to Halum, both Sebastian and Co sustained multiple stab wounds in their chest area by an “improvised ice pick.” An officer described it as a sharpened chopstick whose point was equipped with a blade.
Halum said the wounds inflicted on Sebastian and Co were “meant to kill.”
Sebastian’s lawyer, Eduardo Arriba, said he would request the BuCor that Sebastian be transferred to nearby Asian Medical Center.
Halum, however, said MCM had the facilities and personnel to take care of them.
Riots not unusual
Tony Co was pronounced dead on arrival at MCM. He sustained multiple stab wounds in his chest and abdomen. His body was transferred to Eastern Funeral Services in Alabang.
Rolando Asuncion, BuCor officer in charge, dismissed claims that the riot in the maximum security compound was a move to stop Sebastian from testifying before the House of Representatives on the illegal drug activities in NBP.
“Riots are usual in prisons that lack quality facilities and personnel, and not properly segregated inmates. Unless those would be improved, riots such as these will happen,” Asuncion said.
According to the BuCor investigation, Singco spotted Tony Co, Peter Co and Sy having a “pot session” inside their quarters in the kitchen area of Building 14 around 7:30 a.m.
Singco then told Dongail about the illegal activity. Dongail reportedly told the group to stop the session as the other inmates could be implicated if authorities learned about the activity.
Dongail returned to the mess hall where the inmates, including Sebastian, were watching television, when Tony Co attacked Dongail, which then turned into a riot involving at least eight inmates, Asuncion said.
Arriba said there was an attempt to silence his client, who was not involved in the pot session.
Arriba, quoting Sebastian, said he was initially with Dongail watching television when Singco told Dongail to go to the quarters of the three Chinese inmates.
Sebastian then was stabbed from the back by another inmate named Tomas Donina. He told Arriba that he could hear the three Chinese inmates being stabbed and shouting for help.
His lawyer also added that Sebastian did not engage in the altercation and only defended himself and that this was visible from the stab wounds in his arms.
Arriba said he had requested the BuCor for Sebastian to be transferred to another facility outside Building 14 since last year because “there are imminent threat and danger to his life.”
Sebastian said he was privy to the illegal drug operations but would only talk about it to the President himself.
Asked how the illegal drugs and shabu had been slipped in Building 14, Asuncion said he was not sure if inmates still had their stash hidden inside.
“They had been very creative in hiding illegal objects inside,” he said.
https://duterte2016.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/duterte-says-de-lima-is-screwing-her-driver-de-lima-is-screwing-the-nation/ PHOTO shows the MATRIX initially revealed by President Duterte.
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