MANILA, Philippines—A newly retired police officer with background in human rights protection has been appointed by President Aquino acting director of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Justice Secretary Leila de Lima announced Monday.
Franklin Jesus Bucayu replaces Gaudencio Pangilinan Jr. who resigned late last year after several controversies rocked the bureau under his watch, particularly the abduction of one of its prominent inmates, Rolito Go, from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City last year.
Go and his nephew, a registered nurse, disappeared from the NBP’s minimum security compound one night and were found the following night.
Pangilinan was also facing charges in the Office of the Ombudsman filed by a prison guard who reported alleged anomalies in the BuCor he took over.
Pangilinan succeeded Ernesto Diokno, who resigned after the escape of another convicted killer, former Batangas Gov. Antonio Leviste.
The NBP was supervised by De Lima while Pangilinan was on leave.
De Lima said Bucayu had just retired from the Philippine National Police, his last post being regional director of Region I.
A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (Class ’81), Bucayu is expected to take his oath of office this week and may assume his post next week.
Bucayu was one of nine who applied for the job of BuCor chief.
The justice secretary said she recommended Bucayu to the President, having known the police official since she was chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
At the time, Bucayu was chief of the PNP’s Human Rights Affairs Office.
“I recommended him to the President. I thought he would be an ideal BuCor director because he would be able to put balance to the reformative or restorative philosophy of our correctional system as well as the disciplinary side of the post,” De Lima said.
She said Bucayu was very conscious of human rights principles and standards and that this “will go a long way in terms of really putting in necessary programs toward the restorative agenda of the correctional system.”
De Lima also expressed confidence that Bucayu’s long service in the PNP “will go a long way in terms of distilling discipline among inmates and getting rid of illegal activities in the institution.”
The DOJ said Bucayu had a track record in security institutions and extensive experience in many disciplines. He had led a United Nations civilian police and peacekeeping force in Cambodia, East Timor and Somalia.—With a report from Frances Mangosing, INQUIRER.net
Originally posted: 3:00 pm | Monday, March 11th, 2013