BuCor leadership reshuffle possible — Remulla
MANILA, Philippines — A reshuffle in the leadership of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is highly likely amid recent controversies, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said on Wednesday.
In an ambush interview with reporters on the sidelines of the House Committee on appropriations’ hearing of the Department of Justice (DOJ) budget, Remulla reiterated that they are currently dismantling huts in the BuCor compounds, particularly at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
“Nagdi-dismantle kami ng mga kubol ngayon eh, sa loob kasi nga nakita namin ‘yong congestion is also caused by special privileges given to people, tapos ‘yan, makikita mo ‘yong loopholes talaga sa loob. Pa’no papasok ‘yong mga plywood do’n, pa’no papasok ‘yong mga epektos para makagawa sila ng mga kubol sa loob? he said.
(We are dismantling huts inside right now, because we saw that the congestion is also caused by special privileges given to people, then you see the loopholes inside. How were they able to smuggle plywood, other construction materials inside to build the huts?)
“Ibig sabihin napaka-lax talaga ng security. Kaya ano ‘yan eh, actually baka mag-round two tayo ng reshuffling (That only means security is really lax. That’s why we might have a round two in reshuffling),” he added.
During the budget deliberations, 1-Rider party-list Rep. Bonifacio Bosita also asked Remulla if the BuCor has enough budget for closed circuit television (CCTV) and body-worn cameras to tighten the security inside prison facilities.
BuCor is an attached agency of the DOJ.
Bosita asked this after BuCor admitted that NBP maximum security inmate Michael Cataroja — who went missing last July — admitted that he was able to escape prison by casually walking out and by clinging to the underchassis of a garbage truck.
“We have P100 million for CCTV Mr. Chair,” Remulla replied.
Remulla, however, admitted that they do not have any funding for body-worn cameras as of now, as the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) cut down BuCor’s budget from a proposal of P32 billion, to just P7 billion in the National Expenditures Program (NEP).
Aside from Cataroja’s escape, BuCor has faced other issues recently. Last July, lawmakers called for a probe into the incidents inside NBP after a chopped body was found inside a septic tank — initially believed to be Cataroja’s.
ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo asked appropriate House panels to check on the said incident, including leaked videos of gang wars.