BuCor probe: Graft body nearly done
MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Samuel Martires assured senators on Wednesday that his investigators will submit in “two to three weeks” a partial report of its probe of anomalies at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
During a hearing on the Ombudsman’s budget for 2020, the government’s chief graft-buster said they had already examined various documents regarding the premature discharge of prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment.
Under Republic Act No. 10592, or the good conduct time allowance law, individuals meted with life terms were barred from seeking shorter detention time for good behavior.
“I assure you, in two to three weeks time, we will be able to come up with concrete results of the investigation that we are conducting,” Martires told senators.
“I [also] assure you that we will continue to study the anomalies in BuCor. Truth to tell, the documents we have secured from the BuCor have become my pillows at night,” he said.
Martires said their investigation involved all individuals who served as BuCor chiefs since 2014, including neophyte Sen. Ronald dela Rosa.
The Ombudsman made the remarks after President Duterte ordered a “total revamp” of the bureau amid a scandal that exposed various corrupt activities in New Bilibid Prison.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Mr. Duterte wanted the guards in the national penitentiary transferred to the province, and the provincial guards would be transferred to Muntinlupa.
“He will issue a directive. Total revamp. He will remove all of them there, the officials, employees. It’s a total revamp,” Panelo told reporters. “He wants to stop it.”
The new BuCor chief Gerald Bantag would most likely be given a free hand to reorganize the bureau, he said.
Panelo noted that Bantag was being branded a “killer” because of the criminal cases lodged against him, but the President did not have an issue with this.
“The President said that was what they need there, someone courageous because all of the people there are incorrigible,” he said.
On Tuesday evening, the President said he planned to talk with Bantag about the revamp.
“I’ll just talk to him. I will tell him: If you can’t do it, I will nail you to the cross in the middle of the compound,” he said.
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