Roxas tells Enrile: Public office ban is for those facing plunder charges
Robie de Guzman • September 19, 2019 • 355
MANILA, Philippines – Former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas on Wednesday twitted former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, saying those accused of plunder or stealing from government coffers should be the ones banned from seeking or holding public office.
“Ahem. Yung dapat barred from public service at makulong, yung may kaso ng plunder,” Roxas said in a Twitter post.
Roxas’ remark was an apparent response to Enrile’s statement that Roxas and detained Senator Leila de Lima should be “disqualified forever from holding public office” for the mess brought about by the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) they drafted for the Republic Act 10592 or the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.
Enrile earlier blamed Roxas and De Lima, then Justice Secretary, for the irregularities in the implementation of the law which led to the questionable release of 1,914 heinous crimes convicts since its enactment in 2013.
“They should be disqualified forever from holding public office. Sila ang may kasalanan sila ang gumawa eh the people below them are being guided of what they did,” Enrile said in a media interview at the Senate on Wednesday.
The former lawmaker said the law clearly states that convicts involved in heinous crimes are among those excluded from availing of the early release rule based on good conduct credits.
Enrile said the IRR crafted by De Lima and Roxas, which supposedly added heinous crime convicts as GCTA beneficiaries, was “unconstitutional and void ab initio (from the beginning).”
But according to Roxas, the IRR faithfully reflects the RA 10592 and the Revised Penal Code, stressing that each provision corresponds to specific parts and paragraphs of the statute particularly on exclusion of inmates convicted of heinous crimes.
“Allegations that the IRR has strayed from the law on which it is based are unquestionably unfounded,” Roxas explained in a letter responding to the Ombudsman’s request on the matter.
Roxas cited Rule 4, Section 6 of the law’s IRR on provisional release while under preventive imprisonment, which states that: “Whenever an accused has undergone preventive imprisonment for a period equal to the imposable maximum imprisonment of the offense charged to which he may be sentenced and his case is not yet decided, he shall be released immediately without prejudice to the continuation of the trial thereof or the proceeding on appeal, if the same is under review, except for the following: ‘recidivist, habitual delinquent, escapee, person charged with heinous crimes’.”
Enrile, 95, is facing a P172-million plunder charge before the Anti-Graft court in relation to the P10 billion pork barrel scam which involved businesswoman Janet Napoles and other public officials.
He is currently out of prison after the Supreme Court granted him temporary liberty in 2015 for humanitarian reasons.
MUNTINLUPA CITY, Philippines — The Muntinlupa City Police has created a special investigation task group to focus on the killing of suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) legal officer Atty. Frederick Anthony Santos.
The police said neither the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) installed in the vicinity of the crime scene nor the dashcam of Santos’ vehicle was able to capture the shooting incident that took the life of the official.
Muntinlupa City Police chief PCol. Hermogenes Duque Cabe, however, said they can still check on all the CCTV in the possible route that the suspects took in fleeing the crime scene.
“Ongoing ang investigation pa rin hanggang ngayon,” Cabe said.
Based on the autopsy, Santos sustained two gunshots in the head, one on his neck, and three on his left arm.
Witnesses said the suspects left the crime scene on a motorcycle.
The Department of Justice, on the other hand, has earlier ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct its own investigation on the killing of the suspended BuCor official.
The DOJ doesn’t discount the possibility that the shooting is connected with the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) controversy at the agency.
Santos was supposed to return to work on March 12 after the six-month suspension meted out on him by the Office of the Ombudsman due to anomalous implementation of the GCTA.
Meanwhile, Senator Ronald dela Rosa believes that the drug lords in the New Bilibid Prisons are behind the killing of Atty. Santos.
“’yung nagpapatay dyan sa mga tao natin sa BuCor, yan din yung mga nakakulong na drug lord dyan na kumbaga hindi nasunod yung kanilang kagustuhan. Marami pa yang pera at galamay sa labas na pwede kang ipapatay. Tinatakot nga ang mga judge, mga piskal,” dela Rosa said. —(from the report of Correspondent Sherwin Culubong) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Authorities are now investigating the motive behind the killing of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Legal Service Department chief, Atty. Fredric Anthony Santos on Wednesday (February 19).
Santos was shot by two still unidentified gunmen in front of his daughter’s school near the New Bilibid Prison as he was supposed to pick her up.
Witnesses said the suspects immediately left the crime scene onboard a motorcycle after the incident.
Santos became controversial after appearing in a Senate inquiry as a witness in the alleged ‘freedom for sale’ inside the BuCor in connection with the inmates’ Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).
The BuCor official sustained gunshot wounds in the head and died on the spot, according to the responding rescue team from Muntinlupa City.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday (February 20) ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an investigation on the killing of Santos.
The SOJ also ordered a case build-up and eventually charge those who are behind the murder.
Secretary Guevarra believes that the killing of Santos is likely linked to his role in the GCTA investigation.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCPO) Chief PDG Debold Sinas, meanwhile, assured the safety of Santos’ family following his death.
“We have coordinated with BuCor for the security of the Family na nakatira doon sa BuCor Compound,” he said.
Santos was suspended in September last year by the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service for allegedly allowing the questionable release of prison convicts.
Following Santos‘ death, Senate President Vicente Sotto III revealed that he was informed that the BuCor official promised Senator Panfilo Lacson that he (Santos) will divulge everything he knew about the irregularities in the granting of GCTA privileges inside the New Bilibid Prison. – MNP (with details from Sherwin Culubong)
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate has adopted the recommendation of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee to file charges against officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) over the alleged abusive implementation of the Republic Act 10592 or the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law.
In the Committee Report No. 42 sponsored by Senator Richard Gordon on Tuesday, the panel recommended the filing of charges against former BuCor director general Nicanor Faeldon, BuCor Documents and Record Section chief Ramoncito “Chito” Roque, Corrections Senior Inspector Ma. Benilda “Mabel” Bansil, and Corrections Officer Veronica “Boday” Buno.
Also recommended to be charged were Bilibid Directorate for Health Services director Dr. Ernesto Tamayo, Medical Officer Dr. Ursicio Cenas and Nursing Attendant Meryl Benitez.
The panel wants Faeldon charged for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) for committing nonfeasance in not complying with the requirements of Department Order No. 953; Roque, Bansil and Buno for accepting money for the promise of early release of prisoners; and Tamayo, Cenas, and Benitez for accepting money in order for PDLs to be confined in the New Bilibid Prison Hospital.
“The New Bilibid Prison became a place of vulnerability. Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL), while they deserve to be in prison because of their crimes, does not mean that they should be exploited and be taken advantage of. Their vulnerable situation makes them prone to the many extortions done inside the Bilibid,” Gordon said.
To reform the penal system, the committee also recommended that:
There should be a Model System of Penology;
There should be full digitalization of the carpetas, which should be accessible to the public or the families of the concerned parties;
There should be transparency, especially with regard to the computation of time allowances and release of prisoners;
Full digitization of all prisoner records is a must;
Digitalizing records of BuCor and BJMP employees and personnel for easy monitoring and filing;
The New Bilibid Hospital should be maintained and be well-equipped with adequate medical services;
There should be an operations center which can monitor every prisoner;
The use of artificial intelligence, digital and video analytics with command center independent from each other, inside our prison facilities to ensure that the PDLs, guards, employees are constantly monitored; and
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