Duterte, Guevarra urged to order speedy resolution of BuCor exec's slay
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday urged President Rodrigo Duterte and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to press investigators to immediately solve the killing of a Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) official who earlier testified in the Senate probe into the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.
“This is very serious… kaya ng NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) ’to. They can solve it… A directive from the President will help. A directive from the secretary of justice will help,” Gordon told reporters in an interview following the assassination of BuCor legal service chief Fredric Anthony Santos.
Gordon said that investigators may be compelled to solve the case earlier if there is a direct order from Duterte.
“‘Pag nagdabog ang Presidente at sinabing, ‘Solve niyo yung kaso,’ Maso-solve yan… As a mayor nung araw, pag may crime dun sa bayan ko, pupunta ‘ko dun sa crime scene sasabihan ko yung pulis, ‘Kung di kayo gagalaw, tatanggalin ko kayo diyan.’ And it was solved,” he said.
As chair of the Senate committee on justice, Gordon led the investigation into the alleged irregularities within the BuCor and the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“Ang dapat tignang mabuti ng NBI ay lahat nung nahawakan diyan… sa Bureau of Corrections sapagkat laging may namamatay (What the NBI should look into are those at the BuCor who have been involved in the irregularities, because of these deaths),” the senator went on.
“Wala naman naso-solve no? And that is why it is important that President Duterte himself takes a closer look at it,” he added.
During the Senate inquiry in September 2019, said he received reports that Santos used to hold drug sessions with Chinese drug lords at the NBP’s Building 14 where high-profile inmates are detained.
Santos had then denied Lacson’s accusation.
During the marathon hearings, Santos had confessed that wardens and convicts cover each other’s activities.
He said prison guards would not punish inmates caught using mobile phones and in possession of other contraband inside their detention cells, and would instead opt for a settlement.
The Office of the Ombudsman subsequently ordered the six-month preventive suspension of Santos and 29 other officials of BuCor over the questionable release of convicted inmates in the New Bilibid Prison under the GCTA policy.
Specifically, the Ombudsman has ordered Santos suspended without pay while facing administrative investigation for alleged grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.