Guevarra lauds Ombudsman reso dismissing 3 BuCor execs over GCTA scam

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday welcomed an Ombudsman resolution dismissing from government service three Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials who were accused of demanding P50, 000 from an inmate in exchange for an early release under the hugely-controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).

“I fully agree with the decision of the OMB. I was present during the denate hearings and personally heard the testimony of the witnesses and observed the demeanor of the respondents. I have now given instructions to the BUCOR administration to implement the judgment, as directed by the OMB, without prejudice to the resolution of any appeal that the respondents may take.”

“May this decision of the OMB serve as a stern warning to all personnel of the BUCOR who are minded to undermine the integrity of their own agency,” Guevarra said.

Also in a 16-page resolution, Ombudsman Samuel Martires ordered the immediate dismissal of BuCor Documents Section Chief Ramoncito Roque and BuCor officials Maribel Bancil and Veronica Buño, and the immediate filing of direct bribery charges and for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against them.

Apart from dismissal and indictment, the three correction officers were likewise disqualified to hold any public office, and their retirement benefits forfeited in favor of the government.

“This Office finds probable cause to indict the respondents for one count of direct bribery under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and one count of Violation of Section 3(e) of R.A 3019,” the resolution read in part.

Whistleblower Yolanda Camilon accused them of extoring P50, 000 supposedly to facilitate the release of her husband from the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

The Ombudsman said that as public officers, the three BuCor officers “are strictly prohibited to demand or receive money in connection with the performance of their official duties.”

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