Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa takes his oath of office before newly-installed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra
MANILA, Philippines – Former Police Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa was officially sworn into office Friday, May 11, as the new head of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor.)
As he accepts his new job, Dela Rosa is confident that he can accomplish what is expected of him specifically in clearing the country’s penitentiaries of traces of illegal drugs.
“Sige lang. Bigyan ninyo lang ako ng time. I will institute immediate reforms without cost to the government. Hanapan ko ng paraan iyan. Diskarte ko na iyan…ang importante mapahinto talaga ang drug transaction sa loob,” the new BuCor chief said.
(Just give me time. I will institute immediate reforms without cost to the government. I will find a way. The important thing is to stop drug transactions inside.)
Dela Rosa said it would be easier to discipline the drug lords inside detention cells as they have nowhere else to go, a task which he said is far more different than when he was still the PNP chief.
“Sa PNP ang kalaban hinahanap pa namin, ibang criminal. Hindi pa namin kilala nasa labas. Ito ngayon sa BuCor ang kalaban ko ang kriminal nasa loob mismo,” he said.
(In the PNP, we had to hunt down our enemies. But in the BuCor, my criminal enemies are all inside.)
Bato plans to assign separate detention cells for foreign and Filipino drug lords inside the penitentiary to further prevent drug transactions in BuCor.
“So kung i-segregate mo iyong supply side, iyong mga Chinese, hindi sila makipag-communicate dito sa mga Pilipino na drug distributor hanggang supply lang sila. Ito namang sa side ng Filipino drug lords, kapag walang supply na makarating, kahit na anong demand sa labas, gaano kalakas ang demand, wala silang supply,” Dela Rosa explained.
(So if you segregate the supply side, the Chinese, they won’t be able to communicate with the Filipino distributors, they’re stuck with the supply. When it comes to the Filipino drug lords, if there’s no supply reaching them , regardless of the demand outside, they have nothing to give.)
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) as BuCor’s supervising agency expressed full support to the plans and advocacies of the new BuCor head.
“We’ll make sure that the Bucor will have the substantial adjustment for increase in its budgetary allocation,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – While clearing operations continued inside the maximum compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), an explosion rattled Quadrant 4 around 10:00 AM on Friday (October 11).
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) immediately deployed K-9 units and a team of experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) to the site.
The authorities’ initial investigation discovered that the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED).
Also, two hand grenades and two blasting caps were discovered inside one of the kiosks.
“May sumabog doon, sir. Noong sumabog nag-alisan na kami. Muntikan na kami. Nandoon kami sa isang kanto (Something exploded. When the bomb blasted, we dispersed. We were that close. We were there at the street corner),” one inmate recalled.
“Pagsabog, bigla nang pinaalis (kami). Tinawag namin mga SWAT. (Sinabi) namin sa kanila na may sumabog (When the explosion happened, we were dispersed. Then we called the SWAT and told them about the explosion),” he added.
Authorities also noted that most of the inmates inside Quadrant 4 were members of different rebel groups.
According to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Gerald Bantag, the rebels were possibly training their co-detainees on how to manufacture explosives.
“Siguro gusto tayong takutin kasi may mga bali-balita. May intelligence report na itong mga extremists na ito ay nagtuturo kung paano gumawa ng bomba (Perhaps, they just want to intimidate us because there was an intelligence report about extremists who are conducting training on how to make a bomb),” Bantag explained.
Bantag assured that they are ready for any circumstance should there be similar incidents in the future.
“Tinanggap ko itong posisyon na ito at na-program ko na ang sarili ko, (I accepted this position and already programed myself in this,” Bantag said.
“Patay kung patay (I am willing to die if that’s what it takes),” he added.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered an investigation on the incident.
He ordered Bantag to file a written report and launch the investigation along with the Philippine National Police (PNP).
According to Secretary Guevarra, the explosion is an indication of the gravity of NBP’s security problem. – MNP (With reports from Sherwin Culubong)
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.
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)
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to begin the investigation on the so-called ninja cops involved in drug recycling inside the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
“We will do a thorough and fair investigation in so far as the Chief of the Philippine National Police is concern,” noted Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.
The probe is in line with the directive from President Rodrigo Duterte to probe the issue.
Malaya said they will use the pieces of evidence presented at the Senate inquiry.
“Importante kasi ito kasi (This is important because) these were done under oath,” Malaya added.
Malaya said they will review past actions and compare them to what has been revealed in Senate including the process that the Philippine National Police (PNP) had undertaken when the incident started.
Also, Malaya said they will wait for further details from Interior Secretary Eduardo Año who is now with President Duterte on official visit to Russia. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
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