New BuCor chief told to rid prison facilities of drugs, corruption
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday has ordered the newly-appointed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director to be relentless in rooting out corruption and illegal drugs in the agency and the country’s prison facilities, including the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.
“Our mandate from the President is to stop drugs, corruption and criminality. That is also the mandate of Director De los Santos at the Bureau of Correction. As we are relentless, he will also be relentless,” Aguirre said as he welcomes retired police general Atty. Benjamin De Los Santos.
The DOJ chief said De los Santos’ appointment to head the BuCor is a “most welcome addition to the DOJ family” as he said that his expertise and competence are most needed considering what the BuCor has gone through in recent months.
“Director De los Santos is a person of competence and integrity. He gets things done. I believe he can implement our President’s reform agenda,” Aguirre added.
De los Santos assumes the top post in an agency rocked by scandals and allegations of corruptions and payoffs due to the proliferation of illegal drugs trade perpetrated by inmates allegedly in connivance with top government officials.
De los Santos replaced retired police Chief Superintendent Rolando Asuncion, who was the officer-in-charge of BuCor since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency.
Asuncion would now serve as deputy to De los Santos.
A graduate of the San Beda College of Law, De los Santos served with the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group where he earned his star rank before he retired from the service.
De los Santos was also part of the campaign efforts of San Beda Law Lex Talionis Fraternitas that supported the presidential bid of Duterte in the May 9 elections.
Duterte was one of the members of the said fraternity.
The BuCor is one of the attached agencies of the DOJ. One of the operating units under BuCor is the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa. NBP is currently under fire after President Rodrigo Duterte said 70 percent of the source of drugs nationwide came from inside prison.
Aside from NBP, other operating units under BuCor are Abuyog Penal Colony in Leyte, Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City and the Davao Prison and Penal Farm.
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