Manhunt launched vs. assailants of BuCor top lawyer in GCTA controversy

Marje Pelayo   •   February 20, 2020   •   684

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)

2 more inmates at Women’s Correctional contract COVID-19 – BuCor

Robie de Guzman   •   April 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Friday reported that two more persons deprived of liberty (PDL) in the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City have tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

BuCor said the two were part of the same batch tested earlier but their results were only released on Thursday.

The bureau said the COVID-19 positive patients will also be transferred to the quarantine area at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

“They will join their colleagues at the NBP quarantine area (Site Harry) following strict transport protocols,” it said in a statement.

The latest cases bring to 22 the total number of individuals from the facility who contracted the viral disease.

Bilibid inmate tests positive for COVID-19, BuCor confirms

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Thursday confirmed that a male person deprived of liberty (PDL) at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, the BuCor said the patient has been admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) since April 17.

The bureau said the inmate was from NBP Medium Security Compound. He is the first PDL from the Bilibid to have contracted the viral respiratory disease.

The BuCor said 40 inmates who were traced to have had contact with the patient have been brought to a quarantine area at “Site Harry” where they will be monitored while awaiting to be tested for COVID-19.

Medical staff who attended to the virus-infected inmate are now under quarantine as they are considered as suspect COVID-19 case.

BuCor had earlier reported COVID-19 positive cases within their wards in the Quezon City Jail and the Correctional Institution for Women.

Muntinlupa Police creates task group to investigate Santos slay case

Maris Federez   •   February 20, 2020

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

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