• 2 dead in congested detention cell

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    At least two inmates have died while one remains critical at an overcrowded detention facility in Quezon City.

    Quezon City Police District (QCPD) officials identified the dead as Marlo Lagrama, 37, a resident of 64 Ramirez Street, Barangay Santa Monica; and Renato Moreno, 42, a resident of Block 8, Rambutan Street, Barangay Capri.

    In critical condition was Bienvenido Paredes, 42, of Barangay Gulod.

    The three were detainees at the Novaliches Police Station.

    Initial investigation by the Criminal Investigation and Detention Unit (CIDU) of the QCPD showed that visitors at the detention cell on Monday saw Lagrama holding his chest while he was gasping for breath.

    Police said they brought Lagrama to the Novaliches District Hospital (NDH) but he was later transferred to Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH), where he was declared dead at 12:10 p.m. because of pneumonia and brain enlargement.

    Meanwhile, dawn of Tuesday, Moreno was also brought to NDH and was declared dead from “asphyxia by drowning.”

    Paredes was also brought to QCGH after he was seen to have suffered the same condition as Moreno.

    He is now at intensive care unit of the hospital, police said.

    The QCPD-CIDU said they would investigate to determine if there was foul play involved in the incidents.

    The detention cell could only accommodate up to 30 people but was forced to hold 108 detainees.

    The QCPD called on the local government units to coordinate with them in improving the detention centers in the city.

    The city council has entered into an agreement with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology for the establishment of a new jail at a 2.4-hectare property in Payatas, Quezon City, which is expected to accommodate up to 8,000 inmates.

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