Dispatch from Crame No. 603: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Appointment of new BuCor Chief Gerald Bantag


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Gerald Bantag is just another Duterte appointee valued more for his willingness to resort to violence and murder than his competence.

If it can be remembered, Bantag was the warden of Parañaque City Jail when some of the detention prisoners were killed during a supposed meeting with him. He is currently charged for homicide of those detainees. It is not a coincidence that such deaths occurred during the first wave of killings in Duterte’s drug war. One of the inmates’ widows claims that it was part of the plot to kill inmates with drug-related cases.

If he was willing to commit murder then, he would be even more willing now. Especially since it is Duterte who controls his destiny. Duterte can make his cases go away in exchange for his unquestioning loyalty.

BuCor needs someone capable of instituting sweeping reforms. Someone uncompromising and incorruptible, with a deep understanding of the complex realities and needs of the correctional system. Someone who can work, above-board and firmly, both with BuCor officials and employees, on one hand, and the Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs), on the other.

Ang kailangan ng BuCor ay totoong lider na kayang labanan ang korapsyon na sumira sa kanila, hindi isang mamamatay tao na walang ibang alam na pamamaraan kundi dahas.

With him at the helm, we can expect more senseless killings and zero progress towards prison reforms. Sen. Bong Go wanted a killer at the BuCor helm, and his boss made it happen.

*Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 603 here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_603

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