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Aquino still scouting for next prisons chief—Palace

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Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino has been looking for someone who could fix the country’s penal system although he has not acted on the resignation of Bureau of Corrections chief, Malacañang said on Sunday.

BuCor Chief Gaudencio Pangilinan has tendered his resignation after four months of going on leave over the Rolito Go abduction fiasco.

“Certainly the President is looking for someone who can fix the problems in the penal system,’’ Secretary Edwin Lacierda, presidential spokesperson, said in an interview over government-run dzRB.

Lacierda acknowledged the many problems plaguing the New Bilibid Prisons, that was why Justice Secretary Leila de Lima intended “to throw the book at those responsible for all the various shenanigans.’’

But whether the President would act on Pangilinan’s resignation would be known a day after Christmas, Lacierda said.

It was De Lima who confirmed to the press that Pangilinan has tendered his resignation, but that the President has not acted on this. She said she would wait for Mr. Aquino’s action so that the vetting for certain applicants could start.

Pangilinan went on indefinite leave in August after Go went missing in the NBP. It turned out Go and his nephew were abducted.

The President had expressed disappointment over Go’s escape, given that measures had been adopted following news that prominent inmates had been allowed to “live out’’ in the past.

The President wondered why Go’s caper still happened despite the reforms instituted by Pangilinan.

Go and his nephew-nurse disappeared from the NBP’s minimum security compound one night and were recovered the following night.

Pangilinan himself is facing charges before the Office of the Ombudsman filed by a prison guard who alleged anomalies in the BuCor since the former took over.

He succeeded Ernesto Diokno who resigned after the escape of another convicted killer, former Batangas Gov Antonio Leviste.

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Tags: Benigno Aquino , Bucor , Gaudencio Pangilinan , Government , Prison System

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