AN OFFICIAL of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday, November 18, 2022, called for the proper burial of the 176 unclaimed bodies of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), saying respect must be given even to those that have died.

In a radio interview, CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) Executive Secretary Fr. Nezelle Lirio said it is imperative that dignified burials must be given even to the inmates of the NBP.

“Regardless if they are Christians or not, we have different forms of paying our respect or showing importance to our dead,” said Lirio.

“This is manifested when we visit them in their tomb, especially during their birthdays and death anniversaries,” he added.

The priest said the same principle applies when they call for care and respect for all PDLs.

He stressed that commission of crimes does not mean that one already loses his or her dignity.

“One of the reasons why we advocate for respect and service to our PDLs is because we want to show how important their lives are,” said the CBCP official.

“When we were created by God, He gave each of us dignity. Regardless if we committed any crimes, our dignity remains important,” added Lirio.

The CBCP-ECPCC issued the call after reports came out that a total of 176 bodies of dead NBP inmates are still unclaimed in a funeral home in Muntinlupa City.

According to the Eastern Funeral Homes, 126 of the 176 cadavers are “already overdue” for burial. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)