Tag Archives: bucor

Duterte orders total BuCor revamp

davao-city-mayor-rodrigo-duterte_01

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a total revamp of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to curb corruption within the bureau, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

new bilibid prison

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo bared this after Duterte appointed former warden of the Parañaque and Manila City jails Gerald Bantag as new BuCor director-general on Tuesday.
“Total revamp, he would remove all of them there,” Panelo said in a media interview referring to all personnel from BuCor officials to prison guards.

bantag gerald

Panelo said the President is going to sign a directive.
Asked if Bantag would also be given a free hand to select personnel, Panelo replied: “Siguro (Perhaps). Most likely he will be given a free hand since he was designated as new director-general.”
The Palace official also bared that Bantag’s papers have already been signed but Malacañang has yet to release copies of the document to reporters.
Meanwhile, Panelo dismissed the comment of detained Senator Leila de Lima, who claimed that there would be more senseless killings and zero progress toward reforms at the BuCor with Bantag as its head.
“In her own imagination siguro (maybe). You know if you’re in jail, your imagination runs wild,” Panelo said.
On Tuesday, Duterte said he is confident that Bantag will clean up the agency, being a former regional director of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
“He knows his business. ‘Yung lahat na nangyari, huwag mong gawin, ‘yun lang (Everything that happened, don’t do it). All the things that you have observed along the way, all the things that are being obnoxious or repugnant to the public, huwag mong gawin (don’t do it),” Duterte said in a media interview.
Bantag was the jail warden when an explosion occurred at the Parañaque City Jail in 2016. He was among those hurt but still faced charges for the blast that left several inmates dead.
Despite facing criminal charges, Duterte defended Bantag, saying he picked him as BuCor chief for his professional competence.
“He’s a professional. He was accused of killing several, prisoners, grenade they say. But I think there was a commotion there and he was charged with — for the crime of — for the crime of murder. But it was downgraded to homicide and since there is no conviction yet, in obedience to the rule of the presumption of innocence, I gave him a new job,” he said. (PNA)

TO JAIL!

BONG GO: SACK BUCOR OFFICIALS LINKED TO GCTA MESS

Visits Bilibid to check on condition of inmates 

 

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, during the Senate hearing on the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) controversy on Monday, September 9, recommended that all Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials involved in the process of granting GCTAs be immediately relieved from their duty. 

 

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“Mr. Chair, sa dami ng dinaanan ng proseso ng GCTA, I believe na marami ang sumakay at ginamit ito para sa corruption. Because of this, I am recommending to Secretary Guevarra, at nabanggit na rin ito ni Pangulong Duterte to relieve all BuCor officials who are handling the process of GCTA. Those who are next in rank will assume their duties,” Go said.
“Ayoko pong magbintang nang walang ebidensya. I want to give the authorities a chance to thoroughly conduct an extensive investigation to get to the bottom of this. Pero inuulit ko, sa dami ng dinadaanan ng GCTA, marami po akong nakausap, maaaring maraming opisyal sa baba ang sumabay at nakinabang sa mga kalokohang ito,” he added.
Among those reported as linked to the anomaly is dismissed Bucor chief Nicanor Faeldon.
Before Bucor, Faeldon was Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner but he resigned after being tagged in the PHP6.4 billion worth of shabu that slipped past the agency in May 2017. President Rodrigo Duterte said that he has no plans of appointing Faeldon to another position.
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Before attending the Senate hearing, Go on Monday morning, Go visited the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City to assess the situation of the people deprived of liberty (PDLs) and listen to their concerns. Go also met with officials to check on alleged anomalies happening in the NBP hospital.
“May nakarating na reports sa akin na may anomalyang nagaganap sa NBP hospital. Narito ako para pakinggan sila, para imbestigahan,” Go said after reports came out that prison officials and personnel sell hospital passes to inmates who allegedly transact their illegal drug trade inside the NBP hospital.
Go has received reports that some inmates were moved into the NBP Hospital by faking their illness and buying the so-called “hospital referral pass” from BuCor employees.
“Nagpapanggap na may sakit para ma-admit sa ospital, pagkatapos doon na nagaganap ang illegal drug trading. Hindi lang pala ang GCTA ang for sale. Pati na rin ang hospital pass, for sale rin pala sa Bilibid. Sa NBI po, and Secretary Guevarra, baka pwede ninyo pong paimbestigahan ito,” Go said.
“Naglagay tayo ng maayos na ospital sa loob ng kulungan for humanitarian reasons. Ngunit ito rin pala ay inaabuso at binababoy ng mga empleyadong mukhang pera,” he stressed.
During his visit, Go also assessed the situation of the inmates in the national penitentiary after he received complaints related to the provision of basic needs and health services.
“Marami na matatandang inmates na may sakit,” Go said. “May reklamo rin sa pagkain nila. Ipararating ko po ito kay Pangulong Duterte. Sinabi ko rin kay Gen. Buenafe pabilisan at ayusin ang medical services nila,” he said.
Go said he has already coordinated with Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III to provide for the needs of the patients in Bilibid. “Kaysa po ma-expire ‘yung mga medisina ninyo, ibigay ninyo na lang po doon sa may mga sakit.”
“Marami din silang requests katulad ng (para sa) cardiovascular diseases, and dialysis machines. Dami na pong preso na nagkakasakit doon sa minimum security. Gamitin natin ang hospital sa tama. May mga naka-wheelchair kanina doon na matatanda may mga problema na po sila sa pandinig, dapat sila ang nasa hospital,” Go said. 
The senator also raised concerns if the process of granting GCTA is being fairly applied to convicts. 
“Nakita ko rin kanina mas daming matatanda sa minimum security pero mayroon po akong tanong, bakit mas naunang nakakalaya sa maximum? Marami doon naka whelchair baka di na aabot sa kanilang kalayaan mamatay na sila. Ang tanong ko bakit unang nakakalaya ang nasa maximum kaysa doon sa minimum dahil ba mayaman sila o talagang mayroong sumasakay dito?,” he asked during the Senate hearing. 
Meanwhile, the Senator said that he has filed a bill to give free legal assistance to members of the police and military who may need it when facing cases for acts committed while in the performance of their duties. 
“Ang ilan sa mga preso doon ay dating mga pulis, nabanggit nga rin niya po si Senator Ping Lacson. Noong unang panahon, mga 1990s, may problema daw po sila sa operations, may problema daw po sila sa legal assistance, kanya kanya po sa pag-hire ng mga abugado, noong unang panahon,” Go narrated. 
“At this point, I would like to mention Senate Bill 393 which I filed to provide free legal assistance to officers of the PNP and AFP to help them in their legal needs especially in line of duty. Sa kasalukuyang administrasyon, full support po si Pangulong Duterte sa militar at sa kapulisan lalong-lalo na in line of duty, sabi ni Pangulong Duterte, sagot ka niya,” he added.
Go mentioned that he went to Bilibid upon receiving requests from some inmates who wish to relay to the Senator their current situation as well as to report any knowledge they have about the anomalies allegedly happening inside the penitentiary. 
“Last week nanawagan po sa akin si Ms. Yolanda. Sinabi po niya na may convicted felon na gusto ako kausapin regarding sa mga problema sa loob ng Bilibid at mga katiwalian doon. Nakausap ko na po si Mr. Romeo Valdez,” he said. 
“To heed that call, I went to the New Bilibid Prison this morning and spoke to the inmate myself. Based (on) my assessment, GCTA is being used by alleged corrupt officials from BuCor to give false hope to convicted felons. The GCTA is being used to extort money from unassuming prisoners, with the promise that they will be released through the computation of the GCTA,” added Go. 
Go also appealed to those victimized by corrupt BuCor officials to report what they know and help government crackdown on corrupt and abusive officials.  
“Along the way, Mr. Chair, maraming lumapit sa akin kanina, kagaya na rin po ni Romeo Valdez. To the victims of this mess, just like what President Duterte said, please, do not hesitate to seek our help. Sabi nga ni Presidente, isumbong niyo po sa kanya, papakinggan niya kayo, 24 hours a day, at sinasabi niya na pwede iparating sa akin, isumbong ninyo kay Bong,” he said. 
The Senator’s visit came in view of reports that officials of BuCor sold GCTA credits to prisoners who want to reduce their jail time.
The Blue Ribbon committee held a late-night hearing on the GCTA controversy on Thursday, September 5, where a witness, Yolanda Camelon, came forward to confirm the existence of a “GCTA for sale” scheme in the correction facilities. Investigations are set to be conducted by the Ombudsman and other government agencies to look into the controversy.
“I have said this before, and I will say it again… I am convinced that there is either corruption or negligence in the way our correctional facilities are being managed. Let me assure the public, heads will roll. Mananagot ang dapat managot,” Go said.  ####

FAELDOOMED

DUTERTE: No reappointment for Faeldon

duterte suko

For President Rodrigo Duterte, dismissed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon has had enough controversies to be given a new position in his Cabinet.

 

In an exclusive interview over 24 Oras on Saturday (Sept. 7) which was aired on Monday (Sept. 9), Duterte bared that he has no plans of reappointing Faeldon despite having done so in the past.
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“No, not…I don’t think so. He has had enough of controversies in the last few years,” Duterte said.
Prior to being BuCor chief, Faeldon was deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), a disaster-response agency under the Department of National Defense (DND).
Before that, Faeldon was BOC Commissioner but resigned after being tagged in the PHP6.4 billion worth of shabu that slipped past the agency in May 2017.
Duterte, however, said he still trusts Faeldon, noting that he refused to believe that he was involved in corruption within the BuCor.
“But I do not believe that he’s dishonest,” he added.
In a recent speech in Naga City, Cebu, Duterte cited Faeldon’s contribution to the government when he was still commissioner of the Bureau of Customs particularly the seizure of PHP3.2 billion worth of Mighty Corp. cigarettes with fake tax stamps in Bulacan.
“There was a day when a businessman had two warehouses of cigarettes carrying fake tax stamps. It was Faeldon who tipped me off, sir, two warehouses were found. If he silently talked to the owner and asked for himself, it would made him millions,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he is currently deciding on Faeldon’s replacement.
Currently, BuCor Assistant Secretary and Deputy Director General Melvin Ramon Buenafe serves as officer-in-charge.
Last Sept. 4, Duterte sacked Faeldon for disobeying his order to block the release of heinous crimes convicts under the controversial Good Conduct and Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
Meanwhile, Duterte ordered all heinous crimes convicts who have been released to surrender to police and military and have their sentence recomputed.
“I’m just asking you to come back, If you fall within the category of those who can be released, you can go home. And for the heinous crimes, well, let me think about it. Either I set you free or I’ll drop you there in the Pasig river,” Duterte said.
“My order is to get you dead or alive,” he added. (PNA)

AGUIRRE CLUELESS ON DAPECOL LAND DEAL

UNINFORMED  ABOUT PRISONER REHAB PROVISION OF TADECO-BUCOR AGREEMENT

AGUIRRE BUCOR TADECO DEALBY ROGER M. BALANZA

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre is not aware that rehabilitation of prisoners is the primary goal of the Joint Venture (JVA) between the Tagum Agricultural Development Company (TADECO) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) covering more than 5,000 hectares of the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) in Davao del Norte.

Aguirre said at a congressional hearing on the JVA on Monday, May 29, that he was not aware that the TADECO-BuCor deal also involved rehabilitation of Dapecol inmates.
“I was not informed that this contract constitute some parts of rehabilitation of the inmates,” Aguirre said at the joint hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Justice and the Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability.
Aguirre was not yet Secretary of the Department of Justice when the 25-year JVA was last reviewed and approved by both the DOJ and Congress.
The rehabilitation aspect of the JVA has been described by BuCor as a success.
BEBOT ALVAREZHouse Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez initiated the congressional inquiry claiming that the JVA was illegal and disadvantageous to the government.
Alvarez has earlier also asked Aguirre to have the deal cancelled. Aguirre however said the power to cancel the contract is in the hands of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Under the JVA, BuCor will merely provide the land and manpower, while Tadeco will provide the capital in developing a portion of the Dapecol as a banana plantation primarily to help rehabilitate inmates inside the penal colony. Tadeco will assume all the business risks under the agreement.
Tadeco has hired inmates as farm workers who are paid minimum wage.
The success of the JVA as a rehabilitation program has inspired the BuCor to request Tadeco to replicate the JVA in Iwahig Penal Colony in Palawan.
At the hearing, Alvarez, who instigated the House  inquiry after figuring in a personal quarrel with Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. whose family owns Tadeco , attempted to dispute the banana company’s firm stand on the JVA and its inarguable benefits to the government.
Responding to Alvarez, Tadeco president and CEO Alex Valoria told lawmakers that under the JVA, BuCor is guaranteed a production share, which is a fixed amount under the agreement, as well as a portion of the profits from the bananas exported by the company.
These guaranteed earnings are reviewed and increased by 10 percent every five years, Valoria said.
According to Valoria, BuCor, without spending a single centavo, earned last year a total of P142.72 million or  45% share in Tadeco’s P316 million net income from the banana plantation covered by the JVA.
Breaking down the the 2016 figure, Valoria said Tadeco paid BuCor a guaranteed production share of P35.36 million, and a profit share of P9.53 million.
On top pf this, Tadeco also spent P5.5 million for farm training program for inmates and P92.35 million for stipend support.
Last year, Tadeco  paid nearly half a billion pesos in taxes, belying allegations its agreement with BuCor was “disadvantageous” to the government as claimed by Alvarez.
An audited financial statement showed that the giant Cavendish banana growing and exporting  company paid to the government  P438 million representing taxes and fees. The payments included real property taxes, business permits and fees, withholding tax on compensation, fringe benefits, and regulatory fees.
In the hearing, Alvarez  insisted on his claim  that the Tadeco-Bucor  deal violated the Constitution.
Tadeco’s legal counsel refuted this by saying that under both the 1935 Constitution and the 1973 Constitution, the government is not barred from entering into such arrangements with respect to the development of natural resources. Tadeco’s counsel likewise pointed out that under the present 1987 Constitution, specifically Section 2, Article 12, the government can enter into JVAs involving “inalienable land of the public domain.”

DAVNOR EXECS VS. ALVAREZ

Meanwhile, as Alvarez hounds Tadeco, local government officials of Davao del Norte are rallying behind the banana company citing its contribution  to the economic development of the province.

 

 

 

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