New BuCor chief told to prioritize 3 major concerns

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday met newly-appointed Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag at the Department of Justice

According to Guevarra, he told Bantag to focus on three major points, in the order of urgency:

1. Clean up the GCTA (good conduct time allowance) mess;
2. Full computerization; and
3. Stop illegal drugs trade inside New Bilibid Prison

Just the other day, President Duterte appointed Bantag as the new head of BuCor, replacing Nicanor Faeldon who was fired over the GCTA fiasco.

He once served as warden of the Parañaque and Manila City Jails.

But Bantag was charged with 10 counts of murder for a deadly explosion at the Parañaque City Jail when he was its warden. The grenade explosion in August 2016 killed 10 inmates, including two Chinese nationals accused of drug-related crimes.

A Parañaque City court had even issued an arrest warrant against Bantag.

Senator Bong Go had hinted last September 11 that he had recommended to Duterte that he appoint a “killer” as new BuCor director-general.

For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Bantag was appointed based on his professional competence and honesty.

“The Palace is behind the President’s decision and is confident that DG Bantag will continue the administration’s campaign against corruption as he spearheads reform initiatives in the Bureau,” he said.

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