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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Visitation policy stays; BuCor backtracks on suspension of Bilibid visits

WHAT WAS CLAIMED

New Bilibid Prison announces temporary suspension of visitations at the maximum security compound from June 2 to 9.

OUR VERDICT

Flip-flop:

The announcement of suspension is “false alarm.” Visitations are ongoing on specified dates and times inside the maximum security compound.

Jun 14, 2023

VERA Files

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3-minute read

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The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) backtracked on an earlier announcement temporarily suspending visitation at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) maximum security compound in Muntinlupa City from June 2 to 9.

STATEMENT

In a June 7 Facebook post, the BuCor, which manages and supervises the NBP and six other detention facilities in the country, said:

“Humihingi ng paumanhin at pang-unawa ang buong Kawanihan ng Koreksiyon sa naunang anunsiyo namin patungkol sa pansamantalang pagkansela ng dalaw sa New Bilibid Prison-Maximum Security Compound (NBP-MaxSeCom).

Ang dalaw po ay patuloy na isinasagawa sa patnubay ng mga nakatakdang araw at oras ng pagbisita sa loob ng NBP-MaxSeCom.”

(We apologize and ask for understanding about our previous announcement regarding the temporary suspension of visitations at New Bilibid Prison-Maximum Security Compound.

Visitations are ongoing during specified dates and times inside the NBP-MaxSeCom.)

 

Source: Bureau of Corrections, Humihingi ng paumanhin at pang-unawa ang buong Kawanihan ng Koreksiyon…, June 7, 2023

FACT

In a now-deleted Facebook post on June 4, BuCor announced that visitations at the NBP were temporarily suspended until June 9, without citing any reason.

Several news outlets quoted BuCor as saying, “Pansamantala pong kinakansela ang pagbisita sa Maximum Security Compound, New Bilibid Prison mula Hunyo 2-9, 2023.” (Visitations are temporarily suspended at the Maximum Security Compound, New Bilibid Prison from June 2 to 9.)

The June 7 clarification came after BuCor chief Gregorio Catapang Jr. told ABS-CBN TeleRadyo that such suspension is a “false alarm” resulting from misinterpretation by BuCor officials and visitors.

“Last week, 6 days straight ‘yung bisita nila. Tapos ngayong pagdating na ang Independence Day, mahabang bisita na naman para sa mga mag-aasawa, mga kamag-anak na nakakulong. Kaya baka na-misinterpret lang po ‘yung sinabi ng mga leader na magdahan-dahan sa pagbisita,” Catapang said.

(Last week, there were visits for 6 straight days and now that Independence Day is drawing near, there will be more long visits by spouses and relatives of detainees. Maybe BuCor leaders were just misinterpreted when they said to go slow  with visitations.)

Catapang suspected that the false announcement may have been a personal attack on him by BuCor employees, but did not mention specifically who was behind it.

BuCor last suspended Bilibid visitations in May due to rising COVID-19 infections inside the prison.

 

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Source

Bureau of Corrections, Humihingi ng paumanhin at pang-unawa ang buong Kawanihan ng Koreksiyon…, June 7, 2023

BuCor temporarily suspends Bilibid visits

ABS-CBN News, Fake news: BuCor chief denies Bilibid visits suspended | TeleRadyo, June 7, 2023

 

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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