Senate adopts recommendation to file charges vs Faeldon, other BuCor officials
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has adopted a recommendation to file charges against sacked Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon and other BuCor officials over anomalies uncovered inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“The BuCor, alas, is manned by rotten apples, and corrupt officials. It is rotten to the core—and, from top to bottom. If we are to improve its functions, if we are to have the Bureau regain the trust of our people, no less than a massive change in personnel and in character is required,” Senator Richard Gordon said in the Committee Report No. 42.
The report was adopted during the Senate session on Tuesday.
As chair of the Senate Justice and Blue Ribbon committees, Gordon earlier led the investigation into the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
During the investigation, senators uncovered the GCTA-for-sale scheme and several other anomalous activities inside the NBP which exploit and take advantage of the vulnerable situation of inmates.
These activities include prostitution, sale of hospital confinement passes, allowing entry of contrabands, allowing the construction of “kubols”(huts) and favoring caterers to the detriment of the inmates.
“Mere lancing of the boil will not be sufficient; putrefaction in that agency is so far advanced, only a total replacement of the whole bureaucracy will allow us to see a new, honest, sincere, serious, and effective agency,” Gordon went on.
The 34-page committee report, which was signed by 17 senators, recommended that cases be filed against Faeldon for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) for committing nonfeasance by not complying with the requirements of Department Order No. 953; documents and records chief Ramoncito “Chito” Roque; correction senior inspector Benilda “Mabel” Bansil; and Veronica “Boday” Buno (Corrections Officer) for allegedly accepting money for the promise of early release of prisoners.
The report also recommended the filing of charges against Ernesto Tamayo, NBP hospital director for health services; medical officer Dr. Ursicio Cenas; and nursing attendant Meryl Benitez for allegedly accepting money in order for inmates to be confined in the NBP hospital.
Gordon, in the report, also recommended the following to reform the penal system:
- A model system of penology;
- Full digitalization of the carpetas (inmate’s prison records) which should be accessible to the public or the families of the concerned parties;
- Transparency, especially with regard to the computation of time allowances and release of prisoners;
- Digitization of records of BuCor and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology employees and personnel for easy monitoring and filing;
- Ensuring that the NBP hospital is maintained and well-equipped with adequate medical services;
- Establishment of operations center for the monitoring of every prisoner;
- The use of artificial intelligence, digital and video analytics with command center independent from each other, inside our prison facilities to ensure that the inmates, guards, employees are constantly monitored; and
- A Code of Conduct to be followed.
“The New Bilibid Prison became a place of vulnerability. Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL), while they deserve to be in prison because of their crimes, does not mean that they should be exploited and be taken advantage of,” Gordon said.
“Their vulnerable situation makes them prone to the many extortions done inside the Bilibid,” he pointed out.
Edited by MUF
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