DOJ to ‘closely monitor’ reforms in BuCor
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice on Sunday said it will “closely monitor” the reforms being implemented at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) following a change in its leadership.
“I have directed the interim DOJ oversight committee to closely monitor reforms being initiated by the new BuCor leadership and ensure that such reforms are being implemented within the bounds of the law and with due consideration for the well-being of inmates in our penitentiaries,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
Asked if actions would be taken should there be reports of abuse and inhumane treatment of inmates, Guevarra said: “Supervision includes calling attention to actions which are improper, unlawful, or way out of bounds. It also includes instituting disciplinary action whenever warranted.”
The justice secretary underscored, however, that they are merely “exercises general administrative supervision and not control over the bureau” and is not supposed to interfere with the day-to-day operations at BuCor.
Authorities earlier demolished illegal structures believed to be hiding places for criminal activity and contraband within the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) Maximum Compound in Muntinlupa City.
Some of the inmates living in shanties, however, were reportedly forced to sleep outside.
Newly-appointed BuCor chief Gerald Bantag replaced Nicanor Faeldon, whom President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed amid controversies surrounding the implementation of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law that allowed the release of over nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts.
Following his appointment, Bantag said he would not shave his beard until issues within the corrections bureau had been addressed.
“For me, my beard serves as a mark that as long as it is there, problems within BuCor have not been addressed. Once it’s gone, it’s already OK,” he said in a radio interview. /je
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.