Prison guard files complaint vs Bilibid officials at DOJ
A prison guard of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Monday accused top prison officials of procurement anomalies and the unauthorized transfer of inmates, among other things.
In a three-page affidavit filed in the Department of Justice (DOJ), Prison Guard 3 Kabungsuan Makilala, 54, said that during his tenure as a member of the secretariat of the BuCor bids and awards committee (BAC), he discovered at least five irregularities allegedly committed by BuCor Director Gaudencio Pangilinan.
In an interview with reporters, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she would order Pangilinan to answer Makilala’s charges in writing, after which she would “evaluate his (Pangilinan’s) response before I take further action.”
“But most probably I will direct an investigation into the allegations,” she said.
De Lima said Makilala’s allegations should be validated or determined first in a fact-finding investigation.
She said she had already spoken with Pangilinan, adding: “Based on my interviews with him, he has explanations and I required him to put his answers down in writing.”
Ax to grind
Asked about the possibility of Pangilinan’s preventive suspension or relief, she said, “I will first see the allegations. It will actually depend on the gravity and plausibility of the accusations.”
She recalled Pangilinan telling her that Makilala had “an ax to grind” and that Makilala himself was involved in certain irregularities when he was part of the BAC.
Pangilinan claimed Makilala was angry with him after a canteen owned by the prison guard was demolished during a renovation project at the BuCor at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
“But all of these [allegations and counterallegations], we will weigh them for our next course of action,” De Lima said.
Makilala’s main accusation against Pangilinan and prison officials centered on alleged violations of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Act.
He said that BuCor officials entered into a P16-million catering contract without the approval of the DOJ and made “chop-chop” procurements worth P1.4 million for the renovation of the administration building at the NBP.
The DOJ secretary’s signature is required for BuCor projects costing more than P500,000.
Makilala said that in the building renovation, Pangilinan split the project into four “small value” procurements so that no bidding would be held.
Makilala also said that Pangilinan through NBP Superintendent Richard Schwarzkopf Jr. had transferred about 40 inmates from NBP to Camp General Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, on January 19, and another 12 inmates to a community services site in a private subdivision in Dasmariñas, Cavite, on February 9.
The transfers were not authorized or cleared by the DOJ secretary, according to Makilala.
The prison guard also accused Pangilinan of the unauthorized exercise of the appointing power by naming one Romeo Fajardo as “assistant director for operations,” when only the President of the Philippines is vested by law with the appointment of top BuCor officials.
Makilala also accused Pangilinan of cutting around 50 100-year-old trees at the NBP reservation without authority from De Lima and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Asked about the P16-million BuCor catering contract for the inmates’ food at the NBP minimum security compound, the Reception and Diagnostic Center and the Muntinlupa Juvenile Training Center beginning February 16, De Lima confirmed that she did not approve it.
“As far as I know, I have not approved it,” she said.
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