New Bilibid Prison official relieved for escape of 5 inmates
MANILA, Philippines – An official of the New Bilibid Prison has been relieved following the escape of five inmates in various penal colonies in the country, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said Tuesday.
At the same time, De Lima said Bureau of Corrections Franklin Jesus Bucayu canceled anew the living out privileges of inmates at the minimum security compound.
Ordered relieved from service was Security Officer 1 Alfredo Devaras Jr., as officer-in-charge of the minimum security compound.
“Probe already ordered by Director Bucayu. He also relieved the OIC Superintendent of the New Bilibid Prisons Minimum Security Compound,” De Lima said in a text message.
Other measures taken include: 1. Increasing the number of prison guards; 2. Suspension of the “living out scheme”; 3. Execution of a work plan to enhance the fences in the NBP Minimum Security Compound and 4. Reorganization of the Fugitive Recovery Unit.
Bucayu, meanwhile, said in a phone interview that he designated NBP head Fajardo Lansangan to re-organize the Fugitive Recovery Unit.
Three of the 5 inmates that recently escaped were from the NBP, which is one of the seven operating units of the BuCor. The escapees were Jovanie Misa who escaped last March 19, Eduardo Brosas who escaped last March 22 and Jomarie Fortuna who escaped last April 16.
Other escapees were from the Davao Prison and Penal Farm, another operating unit of BuCor. The escapees were Junllee Villaren who escaped last March 19 but was recovered on March 21 and Brayan Servano who escaped last March 23.
At the same time Bucayu said he also ordered a review of the current “living out” policy at the Minimum Security Compound.
Under the BuCor scheme, convicts who enjoy “living out” privileges are allowed to roam the NBP compound during daytime as part of the program to help them reintegrate into society. They, however, have to go back to the minimum security prison during the night.
The “living out” scheme became controversial after former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste took advantage of his “living out” status and sneaked out of prison in 2011.