MANILA – The Office of Ombudsman slapped six months suspension without pay on 27 Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) executives in relation to the release of heinous crimes convicts under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.
Ombudsman Samuel Martires said the officials were found guilty of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service because of their questionable release of heinous crime convicts since 2014.
“The office finds that the evidence in the form of testimonies of witnesses and public documents showing the anomalous release of prisoners convicted of heinous crimes appear to be strong,” the Ombudsman said on Monday.
Among those suspended were BuCor documents and record section chief Ramoncito Roque and Corrections Senior Inspector Ma. Belinda Bansil – who were both tagged in the GCTA for-sale-scam inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Also suspended were: Benjamin Barrios, Gerardo Padilla, Francisco Abunales, Celso Bravo, Melencio Faustino, Cherry Caliston, Ruelito Pulmano, Emerita Aguilar, Raymund Peneyra, Jomar Coria, Roy Vivo, Wilfredo Bayona, John Edward Basi, Abel Dr. Ciruela, Roger Boncales, Eduardo Cabuhat, Dr. Lourdes Razon, Mary Lou Arbatin, Susana Ortega, Anthony Omega, Antonio Calumpit, Roberto Rabo, Jones Lanuza, Victor de Monteverde, and Veronica Buño.
The GCTA – expanded under a 2013 law – came under fire following reports that it could benefit Antonio Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna convicted in 1990’s rape-murder case.
According to the BuCor, at least 22,049 persons deprived of liberty were released from 2014 to 2019 through GCTA, with 1,914 of them convicted of heinous crimes such as murder and rape./PN