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

Marje Pelayo   •   February 20, 2020   •   1273

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)

PNP welcomes new height requirement for uniformed personnel

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday welcomed the signing of a new law that lowers the minimum height requirement for aspiring members of the police organization and other uniformed services.

“We welcome this new height requirement for aspiring police officers and other uniformed personnel. Suportado po natin ang wisdom ng ating Pangulo dito,” PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11549 or the PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor Height Equality Act on May 26.

The new law amends sections of three different laws, which set the general and standard qualifications for the members of the PNP, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

The law now sets the minimum height requirement of 1.57 meters or 5 feet 2 inches for male applicants, and 1.52 meters or 5 feet for females.

Eleazar emphasized that height and physical appearance should not be an obstacle for individuals who want to join the uniformed services.

“Kamiy natutuwa dahil sa totoo lang itong kagalingan ng pulis ay hindi nakikita sa kanyang height, sa kanyang kisig, gandang lalaki o gandang babae, nakikita yan sa kanyang dedikasyon, sa kanyang kwalipikasyon na inilabas ng NAPOLCOM at syempre base na rin sa ating gagawing paghuhubog sa kanila,” he said.

The PNP chief disclosed that he had already given instruction to police applicants whose height is under the current requirement but meets with the new minimum height requirement under Republic Act 11549.

“Merong mga nag-apply na kinapos sa existing height requirement pero pasok sa bagong minimum height requirement kaya nagbigay na ako ng instruction na yung mga nakapag-apply na ay i-accommodate at bigyan na rin ng QR Codes,” he said.

“Tutal ay online naman ang ating application, yung mga gustong mag-apply pa na yung height ay pasok sa bagong minimum height requirement na 5’2” sa mga lalaki at 5.0 feet sa mga babae, welcome po kayo at ipo-proseso naming ang inyong application,” he added.

Eleazar said they will seek guidance from the National Police Commission regarding the application of those whose height meets the minimum height requirement of the RA 11549.

RA 11549 will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

The implementing rules and regulations of the law shall be promulgated within 90 days since its effectivity.

BuCor warns public vs scammers posing as bureau officials

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Friday warned the public against unscrupulous individuals who are posing as bureau senior officials to extort money from their victims.

The BuCor issued the warning after receiving information about persons who have communicated with its partners or suppliers seeking solicitation for future events.

“We would like to inform the public that BuCor has not authorized any individual to conduct such activity especially using the name of the BuCor officials,” the bureau said in a statement.

“Moreover, there are no personnel allowed to solicit favors and goods on behalf of BuCor,” it added.

The agency advised the public to immediately report such transactions to BuCor contact numbers 8478-3597, 0918 600 1081 (Smart), and 0917 819 2803 (Globe). The public may also send a message via this email address.

High-profile inmate Raymond Dominguez found dead in Bilibid cell – BuCor

Robie de Guzman   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Convicted carjacker Raymond Dominguez was found lifeless inside his cell at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) confirmed Friday.

BuCor Spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag said Dominguez was found dead by his fellow inmates inside his cell at the NBP maximum security compound at past 6 a.m.

Chaclag said it appears that there was no sign of foul play in Dominguez’s demise but they will wait for the medico-legal report on the cause of death.

“Natagpuan siyang patay sa kaniyang bed so it appears that he died of natural causes pero pinaiimbestigahan pa natin. Wala namang foul play,” he said.

Dominguez had a history of diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, according to Chaclag.

Last year, BuCor denied rumors that Dominguez died of COVID-19 although it confirmed that the inmate had contracted the viral respiratory disease.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has asked the BuCor to submit a report on the inmate’s death.

Dominguez was brought to the NBP in April 2012 after he was convicted of carjacking.

He was said to be a part of the notorious carjack ring responsible for the string of carjacking incidents that made headlines in 2011.

Dominguez’s gang was also linked to other high-profile crimes, including the murder of car dealer Venson Evangelista. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mac Cordova)

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