Aquino accepts prisons chief Diokno’s resignation
MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino announced on Monday that he has accepted the resignation of embattled Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Ernesto Diokno over the unauthorized trips of homicide convict Antonio Leviste out of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa city.
The President said Diokno’s resignation was “irrevocable.”
In a short statement, Aquino thanked Diokno for his service and his “delicadeza” for resigning and later told reporters his resignation was “the best form of apology.”
He said he felt some compassion for Diokno who did take on a big job as head of the country’s prison system. The President had a 20-minute meeting with Diokno on Monday.
Diokno’s resignation came on the day Aquino got the findings and recommendations of the Department of Justice’s fact finding body on the unauthorized trips of Leviste.
Aquino admitted the “possibility” he would appoint Diokno “but not in a similar situation.”
Earlier in the day, Aquino said he was expecting the DoJ report on Monday afternoon and that he did not know when he would meet Diokno.
“But I assure you that there will be a positive outcome out of all of this,” President Aquino told reporters earlier.
Also earlier on Monday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda issued a statement saying that the fate of Diokno and other BuCor officials would be “decided fairly.”
“The President already stated this is not a matter of loyalty or shared history,” Lacierda said.
Lacierda also said that the government would institute reforms in the country’s prison system following the Leviste caper.
“The proposed reforms on our country’s prison system, which the President recently asked from various government agencies, will be making their way to his office,” he said.
Lacierda also said the Palace was awaiting the final report of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo this time on the alleged special treatment being given to the Ampatuans by their jailers in Camp Bagong Diwa.
Reacting to Diokno’s resignation, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said it was “expected and that it was “the most honorable” thing to do.
“That resignation is actually expected. I think it’s the most honorable and selfless way to address the issue. (It’s a) graceful exit,” De Lima told reporters at the Department of Justice.
According to the justice secretary, the fact-finding committee that investigated the unauthorized trip Leviste outside the state penitentiary did not recommend the filing of criminal complaint against Diokno.
De Lima said only Leviste’s custodian guard, Faustino Justo, would be charged with both criminal and administrative complaints.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.