Gordon ‘disappointed’ over unsolved BuCor killings

Aika Rey
Gordon ‘disappointed’ over unsolved BuCor killings

Angie de Silva

'I will call for another hearing. I don't get anything from you guys,' says a frustrated Senator Richard Gordon

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday, March 4, said he was very disappointed by the cases of killed Bureau of Corrections personnel that remain unsolved.

At the Senate hearing on Wednesday, March 4, the data presented by Gordon showed that there have been at least 16 BuCor personnel killed since 2011.

“Hindi na kayo kinakatakutan. (You are no longer being feared). Common sense. Brute reality,” Gordon said.

“I just cannot believe it na pumapayag kayong ganyan ‘yan (that you allow this to happen),” the senator added.

Police Senior Master Sergeant Marlou Jacob, head investigator in Muntinlupa City, said on Wednesday that 5 are still being investigated while two have been solved.

The solved cases, according to Jacob, involve the killing of Bilibid prison guard Gerard Donato and superintendent Francisco Abonales, who died in October 2014 and September 2013, respectively.

Of the 16 deaths, 11 happened under the Duterte administration, with one of the 11 dying as a result of illness. None of the 10 remaining cases have been solved. (LIST: Bureau of Corrections personnel killed under Duterte gov’t)

“I have to vent and I have to call another hearing. Give us the summary of all these killings. Open the files. On behalf of the families, on behalf of your service, [so that] nobody is going to be killed anymore,” Gordon said, seemingly frustrated.

Gordon added he was “disappointed” by the non-appearance at the hearing of BuCor chief Gerald Bantag. The senator said Bantag will be invited again to attend the next hearing on March 10.

“I will call for another hearing. I don’t get anything from you guys,” a frustrated Gordon said.

Senator Panfilo Lacson also asked the cops at the hearing to submit to the Senate justice panel records related to the killings of convicts inside prisons.

Santos slay

The Senate hearing on Wednesday was conducted in the wake of BuCor top lawyer Frederic Santos’ murder in Muntinlupa City mid-February.

Santos was killed in front of his daughter’s school by still unidentified gunmen.

According to National Bureau of Investigation special investigator, Chester Celon, they are in the process of obtaining the dashboard camera in Santos’ car.

“The pick-up is with the SOCO (Scene of the Crime Operatives). We don’t have any access to the pick-up yet, sir,” Celon said.

Gordon told BuCor deputy director Milfredo Melegrito that he doesn’t see any enthusiasm in having Santos’ slay case solved.

“Sorry, I do not see the enthusiasm. Walang libog. (There’s no passion for it),” the senator said.

In the marathon Senate hearings on the Good Conduct Time Allowance law, Santos was grilled about his role in providing legal opinion to ex-BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon on requiring the justice secretary’s approval for releases. (READ: TIMELINE: The GCTA law and the controversy it has stirred)

Santos told senators that he had informed Faeldon about the rule, but he backtracked after the ex-BuCor chief denied this.

“It is so important ma-solve ang kaso na ‘to. (It is important that this case is solved.) We knew this guy. He came out here, he told his story,” Gordon said. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.