Catapang to file plunder raps vs Bantag ‘as soon as we get documents’
MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) acting head Gregorio Catapang is eyeing to file plunder complaints against Gerald Bantag either by the end of this year or early next year.
This came after Catapang revealed that the suspended BuCor director general allegedly endorsed P300 million in unauthorized advance payments for unfinished prison projects.
“Hopefully, we can file it [at the] end of this year or early next year as soon as we get the documents,” he said in an interview with ANC’s Headstart on Thursday morning.
According to Catapang, 95 percent of the P1 billion budget for the modernization of four BuCor facilities has been disbursed to contractors despite only accomplishing 60 percent of the project.
He also alleged that documents were faked to show a 95-percent accomplishment rate.
“That’s why we would like to file plunder charges against those who were involved in as much this is more than P50 million,” Catapang said.
“The documents that supported that these were already finished 95 percent were all doctored,” he also said.
Asked if he believes that the unauthorized payment was pocketed, Catapang answered, “Of course.”
READ: Plunder raps adding to Bantag’s legal woes
The acting BuCor chief was further asked if he has evidence to prove that Bantag was part of the alleged anomaly, to which Catapang replied: “Yeah, we have people who are saying that they were forced to doctor the reports and say that 95 percent was finished so that the payments will be given ahead even if the project is 60 percent.”
Contractors claimed that delays in the projects were due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were asking for another extension to complete their work, Catapang noted.
But he pointed out that they will have to investigate the matter since it is already the third time that contractors requested for an extension.
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