BuCor chief Catapang relieves 700 prison guards for remote clock-in
MANILA, Philippines — Newly appointed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gregorio Catapang Jr. relieved 700 prison guards at the Maximum Security Prison for signing in from home.
The Maximum Security Prison is part of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) that houses inmates, or persons deprived of liberty, with a prison sentence of 20 years and above.
“You will undergo retraining, and you will be assigned with other prison and penal farms,” Catapang said during the change of command and changing of the guards at the NBP Compound.
Replacing Corrections Chief Inspector Lucio Guevarra as the Maximum Compound Superintendent is Corrections Senior Inspector Purification Hari.
On the other hand, the other prison guards will be replaced by around 300 guards.
Catapang said the number was slashed by more than half because not all the 700 are reporting for work.
“Yung iba diyan hindi naman nagdu-duty, nasa bahay lang. Kaya ‘yung 700 na sinasabi nila hindi naman nag-duty lahat iyon, nasa bahay lang tapos may pumipirma ng attendance nila,” Catapang explained.
(Some are not on duty; they are just staying home. So the 700 they are talking about are not all of them are actually on duty. Some are just at home, and someone else is signing the attendance for them.)
He said the prison guards would be given body cameras.
Capatang said he has decided to relieve all the prison guards at the maximum security compound because some have violated BuCor Rules and Regulations.
“Up to now, I am not seeing any improvement in [how] you handle the Maximum Prison Compound. I still receive information of misdemeanors,” Catapang said.
Some of the misdemeanors Catapang mentioned include:
- Tampering of the closed circuit television
- Accepting bribes
- Tampering with the attendance record
- Instead of manning their stations, they were spotted at the agro-industrial part or under the shade of the bamboo tree
Catapang said some of the guards might face administrative or criminal cases.
Prison expert Raymund Narag will conduct the retraining of the prison guards.
He said personnel in the lower ranks would be the first to undergo training.
“We will start with the lower ranks until it reaches our level,” he said.
Aside from wearing body cameras, Catapang said duty guards would no longer be allowed to go to their locker stations and they would be wearing pocketless uniforms to avoid accepting bribes and sneaking mobile phones.