An American detained by the Bureau of Immigration for six years awaiting deportation has died of tuberculosis after being placed in an isolation cell.
The BI confirmed on Saturday (February 2) that William Mark St Cyr, aged 55, was found dead at its detention centre in Bicutan, Taguig, at about 7.30am on Thursday.
The statement said that he “succumbed to complications arising from Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB) in his sleep”.
However, the bureau also said that it was still awaiting a full report from a police autopsy.
BI spokeswoman Dana Krizia Sandoval confirmed that Mr St Cyr had been detained since 2013.
She said that because he was facing criminal complaints in the Philippines, his deportation to face trail for “sexual exploitation” in the USA had been delayed.
These charges were filed under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act. Both cases had already been thrown out of court.
Sandoval added that reports from BI Warden Facility Chief Niño Oliver Dato showed that he “has been sick for some time” and in and out of hospital.
“He has been prescribed continuous medication for his sickness when he was brought to the Philippine General Hospital,” she said.
“It is unfortunate, as he was initially scheduled to be deported early February, to face trial in the US. We are sending our prayers and condolences to his kin,” she added.
According to campaigning Facebook page Voices From a Box, Mr St Cyr was known as ‘The Shake Man’ during his detention, as he had a sideline in selling drinks to visitors to Bicutan.
The page — which maintains close contact with present and former detainees at Bicutan — said: “An American national William Mark St Cyr died in the isolation cells of the notorious detention center, alone and without medical attention.
“He was found around lunch time on the floor of his cell and — judging from the condition of his body — it is thought he passed away sometime earlier.
“He was diagnosed with tuberculosis and the BI’s solution was to isolate him, not treat him, but isolate him.”
The incident has been reported to the US Embassy in Manila and police investigations are continuing.
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