Ombudsman suspends 27 BuCor officials over early release of heinous crime convicts

CNN Philippines Staff

The Office of the Ombudsman has slapped a six-month preventive suspension on 27 Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials over the questionable early release of heinous crime convicts.

The Ombudsman said it found that the evidence against the BuCor officials regarding the release of heinous crime convicts through the expanded Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law “appear to be strong.” It added it the officials with grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

If proven guilty, this may result in their removal from office.

The Ombudsman gave Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra five days to implement the order.

Among those ordered suspended are Inmate Documents and Processing Section officer-in-charge Ramoncito Roque, New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Correctional Senior Inspector Maribel Bancil and NBP Custodial Officer Veronica Buño — all of whom were accused of offering the early release of inmates through the GCTA in exchange for cash.

Yoly Camilon, the partner of NBP inmate Godfrey Gamboa, told the Senate that she paid paid BuCor personnel ₱50,000 in three installments in February for the release of Gamboa.

She said Bansil got ₱40,000 in two of the installments, with the first ₱10,000 paid to Roque.

Bansil denied receiving any money from Camilon. Roque, on the other hand, said he received ₱10,000, but was only able to return it to Camilon after a few days as he had a lot of things on his mind. However, Camilon said Roque has not returned the money.

Camilon said they agreed her husband would be released in March 2019. The release did not happen amd Camilon was referred to another BuCor official, Ruperto Traya. Gunmen shot dead Traya on August 27 in Muntinlupa City.

Aside from Traya, Camilon also admitted dealing with Buño.

Other officials ordered suspended are:

– Maximum Security Camp Board of Discipline Supervisor Benjamin Barrios

– NBP Chief Superintendent Gerardo Padilla

– NBP Superintendent Francisco Abunales

– Directorate for Security Operations officer-in-charge Celso Bravo

– Davao Prison and Penal Farm Regional Superintendent Melencio Faustino

– Davao Prison and Penal Farm Documents Division Chief Cherry Caliston

– Inmate Documents and Processing Section Liaison Officer Ruelito Pulmano

– Reformation and Rehabilitation Office chief Emerita Aguilar

– Maximum Security Compound Chief Overseer Raymun Peneyra

– NBP South Maximum Security Compound Reformation Coordinator for Education and Training Jomar Coria

– Maximum Security Compound Commander of the Guard Roy Vivo

– NBP Maximum Security Compound Reformation and Rehabilitation Office Assistant Chief John Edward Basi

– Maximum Security Compound COG-MSE Abel Ciruela

– NBP North Directorate for Security and Operations Roger Boncales

– Training and Education Office officer-in-charge Eduardo Cabuhat

– Medical and Dental Office officer-in-charge Lourdes Razon

– Behavior Modification Office chief Mary Lou Arbatin

– Maximum Security Compound Prison Industry Office officer-in-charge Susana Ortega

– Maximum Security Compound Sports and Recreation Office officer-in-charge Anthony Nupable Omega

– NBP Superintendent Roberto Rabo

– NBP Superintendent for Reformation Jones Lanuza

– Maximum Security Compound Alternative Learning System chief Victor de Monteverde

The expanded GCTA policy has been under scrutiny since reports broke on the possible release of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez, along with other heinous crime convicts.

President Rodrigo Duterte has sacked Nicanor Faeldon as BuCor chief amid the controversy, but continues to profess his trust for the man who was also dragged into the ₱6.4-billion shabu shipment scandal.

Malacañang also said corruption may have just slipped through Faeldon as the fault lies with lower-level employees of the BuCor.

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