Gordon says Ombudsman ‘must cast a wider net’ on GCTA mess prosecution
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman must cast a wider net to prosecute ranking officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), like its sacked chief Nicanor Faeldon for involvement in the good conduct time allowance (GCTA)-for-sale mess, said Senator Richard Gordon.
Gordon made the statement after the Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to dismiss from service BuCor officers SPO2 Ramoncito Roque, who is in charge of the Inmate Documents and Processing Service; Belinda Tudor Bansil, and Veronica Bustamante Buño for allegedly committing grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The Ombudsman, likewise, recommended the filing of graft and bribery charges against the three BuCor officials before the Regional Trial Court of Mandaluyong.
“That’s a good turn pero (but) I’m sure there are others who should be involved,” Gordon told reporters in an interview on Wednesday.
As chair of the Justice and the powerful Blue Ribbon committee, Gordon led the Senate investigation into the supposed anomalous releases of inmates under the controversial GCTA law last year.
During the marathon hearings, various rackets inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) were bared, including the “GCTA-for-sale” and the “hospital-passe for sale.”
“I’m glad the Ombudsman moved fast. That’s a strong signal pero yung malalaki dapat ma-prosecute yun (but the big fishes should also be prosecuted),” Gordon added.
Gordon said Faeldon as well as the Bilibid doctors who were allegedly involved in the selling of hospital passes to inmates, should also be prosecuted.
Some inmates reportedly availed of the passes for a fee to be able to continue their illegal activities inside prison, but from the safety of the prison hospital room.
“Strike two na siya (Faeldon) diyan e (He’s got two strikes already). Pero kailangan (But they need) they must cast a wider net.. yung mga doktor, nagpapabayad, nagpapalabas ng tao. Nasa report ko na ‘yun (The doctors who receive pay-outs, who gets inmates out of prison. It’s already in my report),” the senator added, referring to the committee report on the GCTA hearing.
In September last year, President Rodrigo Duterte fired Faeldon amid the raging controversy surrounding the release of nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts based on the GCTA law.
Faeldon previously led the Bureau of Customs (BOC) but later vacated his post after he was dragged into a P6.5-million shabu smuggling scandal in 2017.
Edited by MUF
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