Bureau of Corrections - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Bureau of Corrections

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6 convicts die of coronavirus in Bucor facilities; 161 cases overall

May 27, 2020 - 4:46 PM

33 personnel also test positive for coronavirus, bringing the overall total to 194 confirmed cases. No personnel has died of COVID-19.

SITE HARRY. Bureau of Corrections puts up an isolation facility at the New Bilibid Prison called "Site Harry" for confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases among inmates. Photo from BuCor

LOOK: In Batangas, isolation facility for inmates is outside prison

May 23, 2020 - 7:26 PM

There are 20 rooms for male prisoners and 20 rooms for female prisoners

ISOLATION FACILITY. DOH-CALABARZON Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo looks at an isolation secured with iron bars to house persons deprived of liberty (PDL) at the The Batangas Provincial Isolation Facility located at Brgy Malainin, Ibaan, Batangas. Photo from DOH Calabarzon Press Release


117 convicts positive for coronavirus in BuCor prisons

May 15, 2020 - 4:11 PM

Justice Secretary Markk Perete says 40 of the coronavirus patients are from the New Bilibid Prisons while 77 are from the Correctional Institute for Women

QUARANTINE. Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) staff transfer a batch of 27 new coronavirus-infected correctional inmates to the New Bilibid Prison quarantine facility on April 25, 2020. Photo courtesy of BuCor


2 Correctional inmates die of coronavirus

Apr 28, 2020 - 10:21 PM

The 2 inmates were admitted to the Sta Ana Hospital and East Avenue Medical Center before their deaths

CORRECTIONAL. Inmates at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City on March 4, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler


TIMELINE: The bid to release low-risk, sick, elderly prisoners in PH

Apr 28, 2020 - 7:40 PM

Time is running out as the government decides whether or not to release eligible persons deprived of liberty, given the pandemic

Officers from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) conducts an awareness seminar regarding COVID-19 to detainees in Manila City Jail on March 12, 2020. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

'Congestion not reason:' Calida blocks petition to release vulnerable prisoners

Apr 25, 2020 - 3:24 PM

There are 241 coronavirus patients in prisons nationwide, and one of them – a Bilibid inmate – has died

SLEEPING. Some PDLs find any spot to sleep inside the Quezon City Jail on March 27, 2020. Photo by Maria Tan/AFP

Bilibid inmate dies of coronavirus disease

Apr 24, 2020 - 9:13 PM

The inmate is so far the first and only reported coronavirus case in the congested New Bilibid Prison

SITE HARRY. Bureau of Corrections puts up an isolation facility at the New Bilibid Prison called "Site Harry" for confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases among inmates. Photo from BuCor


Total of 22 BuCor convicts have coronavirus, isolated in Bilibid

Apr 24, 2020 - 7:35 PM

Even convicts who had contact to the confirmed cases will be housed in the Bilibid facility

SITE HARRY. Bureau of Corrections puts up an isolation facility at the New Bilibid Prison called "Site Harry" for confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases among inmates. Photo from BuCor

Elderly correctional inmate tests positive for coronavirus

Apr 18, 2020 - 7:27 PM

(UPDATED) The female inmate is 72 years old, has pneumonia and has been transferred to the Sta Ana Hospital in Manila

CORRECTIONAL. Inmates at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City on March 4, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

23 convicts in Bilibid, Correctional are suspected coronavirus cases

Apr 17, 2020 - 4:15 PM

The Bureau of Corrections earlier said it isolated 76 inmates and 81 personnel

BILIBID. Inmates from Maximum Security compound converge outside their cells during an inspection of Bucor Director General Gerald Bantag and Chief of the Directorial Staff Major General Guillermo Eleazar at New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa on October 28, 2019. Photo by Kd Madrilejos/Rappler

[PODCAST] Coronavirus: Bakit kailangang palayain ang mga low-risk, may sakit, elderly prisoners?

Apr 16, 2020 - 7:15 PM

Ano ang hakbang na dapat gawin upang masiguradong maayos ang proseso kung ito'y matutuloy?

76 BuCor inmates isolated on suspicion of having coronavirus

Apr 13, 2020 - 9:40 PM

81 BuCor personnel are also isolated

DISINFECTION. BuCor chief Gerald Bantag leads the disinfection of the New Bilibid Prison on March 19, 2020. Photo from BuCor

KAPATID appeals for release of low-level offenders, elderly, sick prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak

Mar 15, 2020 - 7:59 AM

'This is not only an urgent matter of life and death but also of justice,' KAPATID spokesperson Fides Lim writes in an open letter to the Duterte administration

Officers from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) conducts an awareness seminar regarding COVID-19 to detainees in Manila City Jail on March 12, 2020. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

Gordon 'disappointed' over unsolved BuCor killings

Mar 04, 2020 - 4:19 PM

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

UNSOLVED CRIMES. Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of Committee on Justice and Human Rights, questions the resource persons regarding the unsolved killings of government personnel particularly the ambush of Atty. Fredric Santos of the Bureau of Corrections, who was gunned down in front of his daughter's school in Mutinlupa City on February 19, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIST: Bureau of Corrections personnel killed under Duterte gov't

Feb 27, 2020 - 7:32 PM

(UPDATED) BuCor top lawyer Fredric Santos is among the BuCor personnel killed in Muntinlupa since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office

GUNNED DOWN. BuCor legal division chief Fredric Santos is killed in front of his daughter's school on February 19, 2020. PNP photo

Police 'still facing blank wall' in BuCor lawyer slay probe

Feb 27, 2020 - 11:18 AM

Muntinlupa police officer-in-charge Colonel Hermogenes Cabe calls on witnesses and informants to help investigators track down the killers of Bureau of Corrections top lawyer Fredric Santos

LITTLE PROGRESS. The Muntinlupa City Police Office. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

BuCor legal chief killing 'very likely' linked to GCTA mess – Guevarra

Feb 20, 2020 - 12:26 PM

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a case buildup on the killing of prisons legal chief Fredric Santos

KILLED. Bureau of Corrections legal chief Fredric Santos during the Senate probe into anomalies surrounding the Good Conduct Time Allowance law's implementation. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

BuCor top lawyer shot dead in front of daughter's school

Feb 19, 2020 - 3:53 PM

Bureau of Corrections legal chief Fredric Santos is killed just as he was about to pick up his daughter from school

KILLED. BuCor legal chief Fredric Santos during the Senate probe into anomalies surrounding the GCTA law's implementation. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Ombudsman sacks 3 BuCor officials over 'GCTA for sale' scheme

Jan 29, 2020 - 11:11 AM

Ramoncito Roque, Maria Belinda Bansil, and Veronica Buño are perpetually disqualified from holding public office

FIRED. Former BuCor documents chief Ramoncito Roque is dismissed from service and indicted for direct bribery and graft over the alleged extortion of an inmate in exchange for early release. File photo by Angie se Silva/Rappler

DOJ probes Bantag's booting out BuCor staff for favored BJMP aides

Jan 15, 2020 - 2:07 PM

'Wala pa kaming definitive action as to whether ibabalik ba namin 'yung mga inalis nya or hayaan lang namin,' says Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

BUCOR CHIEF. Bureua of Corrections Director Gen Gerald Bantag shows NCRPO Chief PMajor Gen Guillermo Eleazar around the New Bilibid Prison during a surprise inspection of the facility in Muntinlupa City on Monday, October 7, 2019. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

PH soon to have single online portal for prisoner, criminal data

Jan 10, 2020 - 6:21 PM

But agencies are yet to digitize their data that will be uploaded to the newly-launched National Justice Information System (NJIS)

PRISONERS. Convicted prisoners at the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa on October 29, 2019. Photos by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

BuCor's Bantag acquitted in deadly jail blast case

Jan 08, 2020 - 1:55 PM

A Parañaque City court finds insufficient evidence to convict Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag of homicide

ACQUITTED. Director General Gerald Bantag, the chief of the Bureau of Corrections visits the Senate on September 25, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Tao rin kami': Partner of Bilibid inmate decries 'traumatizing' strip search

Jan 06, 2020 - 2:40 PM

Jimmylisa Badayos asks the Commission on Human Rights to help end strip searches at the New Bilibid Prison, one of the many issues hounding the Bureau of Corrections

Jimmylisa Badayos wife of Calixto Vistal one of the NDF political prisoner along with Satur Ocampo and militant leaders show a copy of complaint affidavit they filed before the CHR on January, 5, 2020. Badayos a human rights activist file a complaint regarding strip search and cavity search against the NBP Maximum Security Compound. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Fixing the Bureau of Corrections: Government walks a tightrope

Dec 18, 2019 - 10:49 PM

Conclusion: The GCTA crisis is a symptom of an institutional problem inside the Bureau of Corrections. Will a Duterte-style approach work?

Inmates queue for water rations inside the New Bilibid Prison Maximum Security COmpound on Monday.

Fear of making decisions

Dec 18, 2019 - 8:00 PM

There are irreparable costs

Bantag tries to slay Bilibid's old monsters, Duterte-style

Dec 16, 2019 - 8:52 PM

Part 3: Gerald Bantag literally bulldozed his way to get rid of shanties inside Bilibid on his first week. Will it work in fixing congestion and criminality? We take an inside look.

DEMOLTION. BuCor chief Gerald Bantag leads the demolition of illegally-built shanties inside the New Bilibid Prison. Photo courtesy of BuCor

Unqualified GCTA returnees lose jobs, are detained for months

Dec 15, 2019 - 9:12 PM

Part 2: Even if many are not heinous crime convicts, former inmates turn themselves in to the Correctional Institution for Women out of fear of the President. Administrative lapses make them worry they won’t be home for Christmas.

Bilibid returnees die in Duterte administration blunders

Dec 14, 2019 - 8:26 PM

Part 1: Massive errors in record-keeping and ill-prepared facilities keep thousands in jail for months, and kill at least 4 convict returnees. They regret heeding the President's call.

BuCor’s 3rd highest official resigns amid GCTA mess

Dec 13, 2019 - 7:35 PM

Melvin Ramon Buenafe once held high hopes to become Bureau of Corrections chief after he was endorsed by PMA classmate and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa

RESIGNED. Melvin Ramon Buenafe during the 5th senate hearing on September 12, 2019, into the controversies surrounding the Bureau of Corrections. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Bloated SEA Games budget and other exposés

Nov 21, 2019 - 11:00 AM

Who says budget hearings are boring?

Faeldon tried to realign P1-billion BuCor budget to Mindoro prison

Nov 20, 2019 - 2:45 PM

'We heard that he (Nicanor Faeldon) was interested in running for an election post in Mindoro. Certainly, to request to realign P1 billion to Sablayan detention facilities in Mindoro becomes suspect,' says Senator Franklin Drilon

REALIGNMENT. Sacked BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon attempts to realign P1 billion to the Sablayan penal farm in Mindoro, where he was earlier rumored to run for governor. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

After demolition, elderly prisoners sleep outdoors in Bilibid

Oct 29, 2019 - 5:29 PM

(UPDATED) Makabayan lawmakers visit the New Bilibid Prison to check on the living conditions of inmates

DEMOLITION AFTERMATH. Piles of debris from the recent demolition operation are seen inside the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

BuCor restores family visitation rights in Bilibid

Oct 29, 2019 - 12:04 PM

(UPDATED) Families can resume visiting inmates Wednesday, October 30

Inmates from Maximum Security compound converge outside their cells during an inspection of Bucor Director General Gerald Bantag and Chief of the Directorial Staff Major General Guillermo Eleazar at New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa on October 28, 2019. Photo by Kd Madrilejos/Rappler

BuCor confirms death of inmates but denies 'crisis' in Bilibid

Oct 25, 2019 - 6:44 PM

Dehydration or lack of medical attention did not cause anyone at the national state penitentiary to die in recent weeks, says the Bureau of Corrections

DEMOLITION. Workers use heavy equipment as they dismantle illegal structures as ordered by newly installed BuCor chief Gerald Bantag and NCRPO chief Guillermo Eleazar inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on October 9, 2019. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Bilibid inmates' families to BuCor: Let us see our loved ones

Oct 25, 2019 - 4:16 PM

Families and rights groups urge the Bureau of Corrections to reinstate visitation rights at the New Bilibid Prison amid reports of abuses against inmates

Senate cites 2 suspended BuCor officers in 'humanitarian' contempt

Oct 03, 2019 - 8:02 PM

Veronica Buño and Maribel Bansil are caught lying in previous Senate hearings as the National Bureau of Investigation presents the results of a digital forensic exam on their phones

GCTA FOR SALE. Bureau of Corrections officer Ma Benilda 'Maribel' Bansil cries before the Senate hearing after she was cited in contempt by the senators on October 3, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Puro sabaw': BuCor only uses P39 of P60-food budget per prisoner

Oct 03, 2019 - 12:15 PM

Since July 2018, the Bureau of Corrections has been spending an average of P13 per meal for each prisoner

MISMANAGEMENT? The Bureau of Corrections underspends its food budget for prisoners. PRIB Photo

DOJ: 52 qualified convicts released from Bilibid

Sep 28, 2019 - 11:53 AM

Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete says 35 more previously released convicts who should not have surrendered in the first place, have been verified for release

FREEDOM REGAINED. Convicts who surrendered upon orders of President Rodrigo Duterte regain freedo after authorities verified that their previous release is valid. Photo from DOJ

Newsbreak Chats: How gov't is handling the GCTA, BuCor mess

Sep 26, 2019 - 4:18 PM

On Thursday, September 26, the Newsbreak team sits down to discuss whether government is on the right track and what else it can do to full-proof the implementation of the GCTA law

BuCor officials released from weeklong Senate detention

Sep 19, 2019 - 5:56 PM

(UPDATED) Senator Richard Gordon says the officials have demonstrated 'some measure of cooperation'

NOW FREE. Three Bureau of Corrections officials were detained at the Senate on Sept 12, 2019 (from L to R): Bilibid hospital doctor Ursicio Cenas, BuCor legal chief Fredric Santos, and BuCor documents chief Ramoncito Roque. Rappler screenshots

BuCor officer turns around, admits texting 'GCTA for sale' witness

Sep 19, 2019 - 3:07 PM

Senator Richard Gordon urges suspended Bureau of Corrections officer Veronica Buño to cooperate with the Senate probe into the GCTA for sale scheme

BUCOR OFFICIAL. Corrections officer Veronica Buno at the 6th Senate hearing on the GCTA mess on September 19, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Even dead men listed in BuCor’s GCTA arrest list

Sep 19, 2019 - 12:39 PM

Metro Manila cops find two men already dead for years in the arrest list they received from the Bureau of Corrections

WRONG ENTRIES. The Bureau of Corrections lists men who have been dead and even convicts who were not released through the GCTA. File photo by  LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Duterte orders 'total revamp' of Bureau of Corrections

Sep 18, 2019 - 4:45 PM

(UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte plans to replace all New Bilibid Prison guards with guards from provincial prisons, says Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Photos inside the Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa during the visit of Pres. Benigno Aquino III on January 27, 2012. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

GCTA author wants convicts in prison drug trade ineligible for early release

Sep 18, 2019 - 4:35 PM

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez says his proposed amendment would help ensure heinous crime convicts would not benefit from the GCTA law, which he co-authored

FIGHTING PRISON DRUG TRADE. Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez is a principal author of the GCTA law. Screenshot by Rappler

BuCor officials detained for contempt sue Senate at Court of Appeals

Sep 18, 2019 - 4:12 PM

The officials want Senators Gordon and Sotto to face the Court of Appeals and answer for their detention

DETAINED. Three Bureau of Corrections officials are detained at the Senate on Sept 12, 2019 (from L to R): Bilibid hospital doctor Ursicio Cenas, BuCor legal chief Fredric Santos, and BuCor documents chief Ramoncito Roque. Rappler screenshots

Ex-warden Gerald Bantag named BuCor chief

Sep 17, 2019 - 4:51 PM

(UPDATED) Gerald Bantag faced 10 counts of murder for a deadly explosion at the Parañaque City Jail. Senator Bong Go previously hinted he suggested a 'killer' as new BuCor chief.

Photos inside the Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa during the visit of Pres. Benigno Aquino III on January 27, 2012. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

BuCor to resume releasing qualified GCTA inmates

Sep 16, 2019 - 10:18 PM

But only prisoners who are not charged with heinous crimes and whose records are squeaky clean can be released now

(Left) Menardo Guevarra Secretary of Justice of Department of Justice (DOJ) and (Right) Eduardo Año Secretary of Department of The Interior and Local Government (DILG) sign the revise Implementing Rules and Regulation for Good Conduct and Time allowance at Department of Justice in Manila on 16 September 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

[EDITORIAL] BuCor Senate hearings: Bakit pinalusot si Bato at Faeldon?

Sep 16, 2019 - 12:24 PM

The GCTA law is a complicated mess. BuCor is neck-high in corruption allegations. We can do without the politicking and vendetta, Senators.

Give DOJ direct control over BuCor – Drilon

Sep 14, 2019 - 6:41 PM

Former justice secretary and now senator Franklin Drilon backs the DOJ's proposal to review the law that only gave it 'administrative supervision' over the BuCor

SOLUTION PROPOSED. Senator Franklin Drilon also wants to review Republic Act 10575. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Guevarra: Give DOJ more control over BuCor

Sep 13, 2019 - 1:58 PM

The justice chief wants a review of Republic Act 10575, which 'diminished' the control of the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the Bureau of Corrections

BUCOR CONTROL. DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra floats a possible review of the BuCor modernization law that he says "diminished" the control of the DOJ over the bureau. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler