2 doctors at New Bilibid Prison sacked

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Monday, June 16, 2014

TWO doctors at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City were fired for allowing the private hospitalization of some high-profile inmates without the consent of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Relieved from their posts were Dr. Gloria Achazo-Garcia (acting head, NBP Hospital) and Dr. Ma. Cecilia Villanueva (medical specialist, NBP Hospital) and Prison Superintendent Gabriel Magan (chief, NBP Escort Unit), according to Department Order 405 issued by de Lima last Friday but took effect on Monday.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Bucayu was also tasked by de Lima to find temporary replacements of relieved officials so as not to hamper the operations of the hospital.

In a separate memorandum, de Lima ordered relieved NBP head Fajardo Lansangan, 12 jail guards, the two doctors and Magan to explain within three days from receipt of notice why they should not be administratively charged in connection with the matters raised by Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan.

Baraan investigated the confinement of Ricardo Camata, a convicted drug lord and leader of the dreaded Sigue Sigue Sputnik gang, at the Metropolitan Hospital in Manila even without de Lima's blessing.

Camata also received female guests at his hospital room who were not his immediate relatives, closed-circuit television footage (CCTV) from the hospital showed.

De Lima will form a three-man panel to check if there are other inmates who have been granted emergency referrals without the Department of Justice's clearance, type and level of security extended to inmates in private hospitals and profile of visitors.

Baraan will still head the fact-finding investigation, de Lima said. He will be assisted by an official of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and a state prosecutor.

Apart from Camata, other high-profile inmates who received private medical care are bank robbery leader Herbert "Ampang" Colangco, who was taken to Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa and Amin Buratong, an operator of a drug flea market, who was brought to the Medical City in Pasig due to recurring coronary disease and a liver ailment. (Sunnex)

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