Issues hounding the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa never seems to run out of steam and always
comes out in the headlines especially when it comes to shenanigans inside the penitentiary or infidelities committed while watching over persons deprived of liberty (PDL). The recent missing
PDL case, the alleged human cadaver found inside a septic tank and the eventual discovery and arrest of an escapee all have the ingredients of a mystery novel that keep the public on their toes waiting with bated breath for the next chapter to unfold.

It apparently all began in July 15, 2023 when prison authorities discovered that one of their inmates had gone missing and that despite all of their initial efforts to immediately locate their
prisoner have come up empty handed and without any clue as to how the PDL had suddenly disappeared like a ghost.

After having been informed of the unfortunate incident Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla immediately ordered a thorough investigation with the expertise of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) called to the fore along with so called cadaver dogs from the K9 Force
of the Philippine Coast Guard for the ostensible search and possible rescue of the missing PDL identified as 25-year-old Michael Cataroja imprisoned for having violated the anti-fencing law.

But the missing PDL case was not the end of the mystery inside the penitentiary because according
to Secretary Remulla right after the cadaver dogs began sniffing out the prison for clues on the missing PDL they discovered alleged human remains inside a septic tank in the prison. This immediately caused a flurry of revelations from the justice secretary that the human cadaver found in the septic tank was a decapitated body belonging to the missing PDL, and that they are now in the process of looking for its head.

In another explosive statement Remulla came out with a supposition that their inspection of the
penitentiary will yield other human remains and that the existence of a mass grave is a possibility.
Not to be outdone, legislators in both houses in Congress were quick to call for an investigation in aid of legislation relying on the narrative provided by the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) and through justice secretary Remulla which all seemed very plausible and true at that time, and considering the sources from where they originated.

Unfortunately, and now perhaps much to the chagrin of the BUCOR officers and justice secretary Remulla, the eventual capture and appearance of the missing PDL Cataroja and the report by the
NBI that the alleged human remains found inside a septic tank inside the prison were that possibly of the bones of a chicken points to a deviously planned and manufactured disinformation and fake news package created apparently for the sole purpose of causing embarrassment for those involved.

In the realm of media reporting this is what is usually called as “Kuryente”, the original term for so called fake news. The justice secretary has already admitted that he received wrong information
about the decapitated body inside the septic tank and his belief that the alleged human cadaver belongs to the missing PDL Cataroja. But what is really disturbing about all of this, and the implication of the deliberately manufactured fake news notwithstanding, is the story told by PDL Cataroja when he was finally captured and arrested allegedly in San Isidro, Binangonan, Rizal and his account is certainly one for the books on how to successfully escape from prison.

Cataroja claimed that he escaped from the maximum security prison simply by pretending to be a departing visitor of the penitentiary and using a ballpen to fake a stamp used by BUCOR to mark
national Bilibid prison visitors. Heads have already rolled over this snafu but the more important revelation that the public might want to know is how far certain quarters in government are willing to manipulate events using government instrumentalities such as prisons to create artificial situations for their own nefarious and vested interests.

Amianan Balita Ngayon