Who is Ruel Rivera, the new BJMP chief?

Jairo Bolledo

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Who is Ruel Rivera, the new BJMP chief?

NEW HEAD. Newly appointed acting BJMP chief Ruel Rivera during the turnover ceremony on March 27, 2023.


(1st UPDATE) Rivera had been BJMP's No. 2 man since 2019. Now he heads the bureau responsible for maintaining the country's jails

MANILA, Philippines – Career officer Jail Chief Superintendent Ruel Silva Rivera has been named chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the Presidential Communications Office announced on Monday, June 26.

Rivera, who was BJMP’s Deputy Chief for Administration, was already appointed acting chief in March this year. He took command on March 28. 

He replaced retired chief jail director Allan Iral, who bowed out from service on June 23. 

But how did Rivera rise from the BJMP ranks?


The new acting BJMP chief traces his origins in Lipa City in Batangas. He is a son of a barangay chairman and a market vendor.

Aside from holding posts in BJMP, Rivera is also the current chairperson of the BJMP Provident Fund and BJMP Multipurpose Cooperative. From 2017 to 2018, he served as president of the BJMP Savings & Loans Association Inc., and became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Armed Forces & Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. from 2019-2022.

Outside BJMP, Rivera is a member of various community groups and entities like Batangas Varsitarian, Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines, Mabuhay Shriners, and the Knights of Rizal.

Professional career

The new acting BJMP chief obtained his public safety degree from the Philippine National Academy. He is a member of the PNPA Patnubay Class of 1995.

Rivera later on pursued his graduate studies and finished his Master in Public Administration degree at the Batangas State University. He also obtained some units in Philosophy on Educational Management at the University of Rizal System.

In his 28 years in service, he climbed the ranks of the jail bureau and held various positions there. He headed the Manila City Jail as warden in January 2011 and introduced the digitization of records of persons deprived of liberty. He also pioneered the e-Dalaw System, which allowed the families of PDLs to reach out to them through digital means, according to the BJMP.

Aside from serving as jail warden, Rivera also worked as a staff officer, chief of directorial staff, and assistant director in various BJMP regional offices. From 2013 to 2014, he served as the regional director of BJMP Mimaropa.

In the BJMP’s national headquarters, Rivera held various vital positions like chief of the BJMP’s Finance Service Office, and director for investigation, prosecution, logistics, and comptrollership. Later on, Rivera rose from the ranks again and served in the BJMP’s top posts.

Rivera was appointed Chief of Directorial Staff in 2017 – the fourth highest position in BJMP. He was then promoted to the third and second highest posts in 2018 and 2019: as Deputy Chief for Operations, and then Deputy Chief for Administration in July 2019. He obtained his first star or general rank in 2019 after he was promoted to Chief Superintendent.

He had been Iral’s No. 2 man since the outgoing BJMP chief first assumed the post in 2019. –

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.