Duterte orders 'total revamp' of Bureau of Corrections
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a "total revamp" of the embattled Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Wednesday, September 18, announced Malacañang.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, after getting off the phone with Duterte, told reporters that the overhaul would mean the removal of all officials, employees, and guards of the New Bilibid Prison.
"Ang pagkakasabi niya sa akin, 'yung mga guards doon ililipat niya sa probinsiya eh. Ang mga provincial guards, ililipat niya sa BuCor," said Panelo.
(The way he explained it to me, the guards there, he will transfer to the provinces. The provincial guards, he will place in BuCor.)
Career officials and employees will be affected too.
"Kasama, basta total revamp (They're included, it's a total revamp). He will remove all of them there, remove the officials, employees," said Panelo.
The spokesman said Duterte is set to issue a "directive" about the revamp.
Just the other day, on Tuesday, September 17, Duterte had named a new BuCor chief, Gerald Bantag, a former jail warden in Parañaque City and Manila.
The BuCor is confronting multiple controversies – the near-early release of high-profile heinous crime convicts, the alleged good conduct time allowance (GCTA) for sale scheme, jailed drug lords still continuing their operations, and hospital passes for sale scheme.
On the sidelines of the Office of the Ombudsman's budget hearing on Wednesday, Ombudsman Samuel Martires said that the report on the partial investigation on the GCTA mess would be released in 2 to 3 weeks.
"About 2 to 3 weeks, puwede nang magkaroon ng partial report or result of investigation. Siguro mga involved dito 2 o 3 tao. Halos nakukumpleto na namin ang ebidensiya," Martires said.
(In about 2 to 3 weeks, there could be a partial report or result of investigation. There may be 2 to 3 people involved. We have nearly completed the evidence.)
Martires said the Ombudsman looked into BuCor officials from 2014 up to the time of sacked prisons chief Nicanor Faeldon.
"Tinitignan natin lahat 'yun [kung] ano'ng participation nila sa lahat ng mga prisoners na nadischarge (We're looking at their participation in the discharge of prisoners)," Martires said.
In the case of incumbent officials, Martires said they may be held liable for bribery and administrative offenses such as conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and gross negligence.
He added that the Ombudsman was not looking into the participation of former interior secretary Mar Roxas and detained Senator Leila de Lima in the GCTA mess yet, and had, so far only asked them why heinous crime convicts were not excluded in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law.
Roxas had said that the IRR he had signed just followed the GCTA law. – with reports from Aika Rey/Rappler.com