Inmates may be included in A5 vax priority group

By Benjamin Pulta

May 14, 2021, 7:21 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The inclusion of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in the succeeding priority sectors of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) national vaccination program is being considered.

"The proposal to place PDLs under priority category A5 is under consideration," Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra told newsmen on Friday.

A5 is the indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories.

The A4 group (other front-liners in essential sectors) may be vaccinated by June.

Medical front-liners, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities (A1 to A3) are currently being vaccinated.

Guevarra made the statement when sought for a reaction on the death of former lawmaker and murder convict Ruben Ecleo Jr., who passed away Thursday while serving a life sentence, reportedly due to complications from liver disease.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag told reporters on Thursday that Ecleo, who was 61, was a moderate Covid-19 case but had already recovered last week.

“May God forgive him for his trespasses on Earth," Guevarra said.

Ecleo, convicted for killing his wife, Alona Bacolod, in 2002, returned to the New Bilibid Prison on May 4, three days after he was taken to the Dr. Sabili General Hospital in Taguig due to his liver disease. (PNA)