Senate panel orders release of 2 BuCor officers held in contempt
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has ordered the release of two Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officers earlier cited in contempt for lying about their involvement in the so-called “GCTA for sale” scheme at the national penitentiary.
The Senate justice and human rights committee on Wednesday lifted the contempt order against Corrections Senior Insp. Mabel Bansil and Officer 3 Veronica Buño.
During Wednesday’s hearing on the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance law and on so-called “ninja cops,” panel chair Senator Richard Gordon said Bansil and Buño requested for their release on account that Buño’s child was missing.
“According to her, ‘yung anak niya nawawala, si Veronica Buño sa Muntinlupa, and they want to come home (According to her, her child is missing, and they want to come home),” Gordon said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon acceded.
“I think there is basis for us to consider to move to lift the contempt order and release them from our custody,” Drilon said.
The Senate committee likewise ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to “pick up and follow-up” the case against the two Bucor officers, and newly-installed BuCor director-general Gerald Bantag to “make sure that they are safe.”
Bansil and Buño, however, were directed to attend the next Senate hearing on the GCTA law implementation. The two were earlier tagged in the facilitation of the alleged GCTA for sale scheme in the New Bilibid Prison and accused of receiving payments from inmates who want to secure an early release.
They were cited in contempt after the National Bureau of Investigation presented findings on its digital forensic investigation, debunking the BuCor officers’ testimonies regarding their role on the GCTA for sale scheme. /kga
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