AUTHORITIES are investigating the death of an inmate who claimed that he was tortured inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Convicted murderer Fabian Mabalato, 46, was found dead on Thursday when he was about to be brought to a medical facility outside the NBP.
Mabalato claimed in a letter that he was badly beaten up due to his uncollected drug payments amounting to about P600,000.
“Basag ang aking mukha at nagkaroon ako ng malaking bukol sa aking leeg dala ng malakas na pagkapalo nila (My face got broken and I developed a big lump on my neck because of the tremendous mauling they gave me),” Mabalato claimed. “…pinagkasunduan ng lahat ng nanunungkulan na ako’y kanilang takalan, paluin ng bilang na 245 takal.
Binartolina po nila ako doon ng 5 months at doon na po ako natuluyang malumpo (All the officials came to an agreement that I should be punished. I was in an isolated cell for five months and I was crippled.)”
In his letter, a copy of which was obtained by a reporter, Mabalato appealed for help and sought justice for the torture that he underwent.
NBP Superintendent Richard Schwarzkopf Jr. said the inmate was detained at Quadrant 3 for two years.
He said Mabalato was diagnosed with tuberculosis in December last year and several weeks before his death, the inmate complained of body pains.
The NBP official said prison officials do not condone the practice of “takal” (a brutal disciplinary action) inside the state penitentiary “because it is inhumane.”
“We do not tolerate the practice of ‘takal.’ If that is happening, maybe within the gang members only. But within the administration level, we do not tolerate such kind of activity. That is forbidden,” the official added.
Schwarzkopf noted that they discipline erring inmates based on legal procedure.
He added that prison officials are waiting for the autopsy report from the NBP Hospital to determine the cause of Mabalato’s death.
He gave assurances that an investigation will be held to determine the veracity of Mabalato’s claim.