Bato dela Rosa formally steps down as BuCor chief

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2018   •   4720

Retired General Ronald dela Rosa (c)

MUNTINLUPA CITY, Philippines – Retired General Ronald dela Rosa has formally stepped down as director of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) following his filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2019 mid-term elections.

During Monday’s (October 15) flag raising ceremony at the New Bilibid Prison compound, Dela Rosa thanked his men for accompanying him in the past five months of being the BuCor chief.

Former Director of the Bureau of Customs Nicanor Faeldon will take over the Bucor following Dela Rosa’s resignation.

If given the chance to secure a seat in the Senate, Dela Rosa will push for the creation of a Department of Correction. – UNTV News and Rescue

BuCor officials in ‘GCTA for sale’ controversy still under Senate custody

Marje Pelayo   •   October 4, 2019

Joint Senate committee hearing led by the committee on justice and human rights chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon on the Good Conduct Time Allowance controversy and the so-called “ninja cops” on Thursday, October 3. PRIB/JOSEPH VIDAL

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) awaits the recommendation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on whether or not to accept under witness protection program (WPP) two of the Bureau of Correction (BuCor) officials involved in the Good Conduct Time Allowance controversy or the ‘GCTA for sale.’

The controversy placed the two BuCor officials, Senior Inspector Maria Belinda ‘Mabel’ Bansil and Officer 3 Veronica ‘Boday’ Buño, in hot water after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) revealed the result of its forensic examination on Buño’s cellular phone.

The two were accused of offering ‘GCTA for sale’ to relatives of inmates in exchange for their early release from jail.

Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Richard Gordon offered Bansil and Buño to subject themselves under WPP but Buño insisted that she didn’t have any personal knowledge about the controversy.

“Wala po talaga akong personal knowledge (I have no personal knowledge),” Buño said.

“Pero iyong mga information po ay napi-feed naman po kahit buong Bureau of Corrections ay alam (But all information was fed and known to the entire Bureau of Corrections),” she added.

The Senate wants to delve deeper into the matter particularly to confirm the alleged deleted exchange of text messages between Bansil and Buño which mentioned names of other BuCor officials including Faeldon and some amount related to the GCTA.

Unless the two disclose their knowledge about the alleged ‘GCTA for sale,’ they will remain under the custody of the Senate after the body cited them in contempt.

Gordon gave Bansil and Buño two to three days to speak on what they know about the matter.

Only then will the Senate hold an executive session to discuss whether or not they will recommend the two to be placed under WPP.

If they agree, they will be entitled to government protection and benefits under Republic Act 6981, otherwise known as ‘The Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act.”

According to the provision of the Law, a person under WPP is entitled to the following:

1. Security protection and escort services;

2. Immunity from criminal prosecution and not to be subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for any transaction, matter or thing concerning his compelled testimony or books, documents or writings produced;

3. A secured housing facility;

4. Assistance in obtaining a means of livelihood;

5. Reasonable traveling expenses and subsistence allowance while acting as a witness;

6. Free medical treatment, hospitalization, and medicine for any injury or illness incurred or suffered while acting as a witness;

7. Burial benefits of not less than Ten Thousand pesos (P10,000.00) if the witness is killed because of his participation in the Program;

8. Free education from primary to college level for the minor or dependent children of a witness who dies or is permanently incapacitated; and,

9. Non-removal or demotion in work because of absences due to his being a witness and payment of full salary or wage while acting as a witness.

These benefits are way more than what the Senate can provide which is limited only to security details and free meals.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, meanwhile, said they have not received any sign from the camps of Bansil and Buñoon whether they will accept the government’s offer of protection. – MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Comelec cancels Edu Manzano’s bid for Congressional seat

Maris Federez   •   May 7, 2019

Former OMB Chairman Edu Manzano

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday canceled the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) of actor Edu Manzano, who is running for a congressional seat for the lone district of San Juan City.

The 15-page Comelec Second Division decision reads that the poll body has granted the petition filed by Sophia Patricia Gil, a San Juan City resident, in November 2018 which claimed that Manzano misrepresented himself by declaring that he is a Filipino citizen when he filed his CoC for the May Midterm elections.

“Respondent is not a Filipino citizen at the time he filed his COC for a member of the House of Representatives for the lone district of San Juan City,” Comelec stated in its decision released on May 6.

It added that Manzano committed false material representation of his citizenship, prompting the poll body to cancel his COC.

Comelec said Manzano failed to re-acquire his Filipino citizenship at the time that he filed his COC in October last year.

Manzano lost his Filipino citizenship when he served as a member of the United States Army from 1973 to 1977, according to Section 1-4 of the Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 63.

Comelec explained that the “C.A. No. 63 is clear and explicit in stating that by rendering service to, or accepting commission in, the armed forces of a foreign country, a Filipino will lose his Philippine citizenship.”

Manzano became Makati vice mayor in 1998. He lost, however, when he took a mayoral bid in 2001. He had also run in the vice presidential and senatorial race in 2010 and 2016, respectively.

GIS EXCLUSIVE: Bato wants death penalty pushed if given chance in Senate

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2018

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Retired General Ronald Dela Rosa in Get It Straight with Daniel Razon

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – He is being criticized for lack of knowledge and incompetency, but former Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Retired General Ronald Dela Rosa wants to prove his critics wrong.

In an interview with the program “Get It Straight with Daniel Razon” on Wednesday (November 21), Dela Rosa wants the public to give him the chance to prove his worth as he bids for a Senate seat in the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.

His top priority is to revive death penalty which he claims as the only solution to eliminate the illegal drug menace in the country.

Dela Rosa said he is inspired by his encounters with drug personalities during his stint as chief of police and as the director of the national penitentiary.

 “Kinausap ko sila, iyong mga convicted drug lords doon. Bakit sila…Why do they insist trafficking drugs in the Philippines? Iyong mga foreigners, iyong mga Chinese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong nationals. Ang sagot naman nila is, mas maganda daw dito sa atin dahil our laws are very weak. Mahina ang ating batas pagdating sa illegal drugs. We don’t have death penalty whereas kung dun sila magtraffic sa Singapore, Malaysia,Indonesia,Brunei patay sila dun talaga bibitayin sila,” Bato said.

He admitted that detention is not enough to stop drug lords from establishing empires of drug trades because they can still operate even behind bars.

Bato assured that his version of the proposal to reimpose death penalty would be fair to both the rich and the poor.

The former BuCor chief also vows to address concerns of overseas Filipino workers especially those experiencing abuse and are detained in other countries.

 “Alam ko naman rin na mga biktima lang rin itong mga OFW na ito. Sabi ko nga kung ako’y papalarin sabi ko hindi ito promise kundi itaga mo sa bato,hahanap ako talaga ng paraan na mabigyan kayo ng kahit legal assistance man lang dun sa kanilang mga kaso,” Bato said.

Dela Rosa was criticized for allegedly lacking knowledge in inflation. The former police chief said, he was just being true to himself.

 “Nagpakatotoo lang ako. Hindi pwedeng magplastik plastikan ako (na) kunwari alam ko lahat. Actually inflation, may alam rin naman tayo dyan. Hindi naman totally ignorante. Napagaralan ko rin naman iyan pero iba yung theory at practice,” he said.

“Pwede ka naman mag-tap ng services ng mga researchers para malaman mo talaga kung anong dapat mong gawin sa Senado,” Dela Rosa concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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