Bucor deputy director quits post over 'work-related issue'

MANILA (Updated) -- Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Deputy Director for Operations Rolando Asuncion resigned from his post Friday amid an alleged looming administrative investigation over his alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Asuncion's resignation letter was submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday, January 5.

In the letter, Asuncion, who was appointed BuCor officer-in-charge on July 20, 2016, said he quit his post due to a "work-related issue."

He said he wanted to resign because the newly appointed Bucor Chief Benjamin Delos Santos told him that Aguirre wanted him to go on leave pending an administrative investigation for his alleged involvement in the illegal drug activities of narco cops in Muntinlupa City.

According to him, he wanted at first to submit to the investigation, but added that when Delos Santos told him the Bucor chief is the one tasked to probe the allegations against him. He said he opted to resign as rifts between Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and the Bucor chief may arise.

But Aguirre denied that he instructed the BuCor director general to investigate Asuncion, saying the DOJ has no pending investigation on Asuncion's alleged links to drugs.

The Justice secretary said he received the resignation letter of Asuncion, but according to him, the decision to accept the official's resignation still depends on President Rodrigo Duterte.

Asuncion, in the letter, thanked Aguirre for the opportunity given to him to serve the Bucor. In the end of the letter, he said he will leave the Bucor with a clear conscience.

"I will leave Bucor with a clear conscience and it is my wish for you to have the same pride and posture when your time as Justice Secretary ends," Asuncion said.

Asuncion served as the Bucor officer-in-charge for four months until he was appointed deputy director for Operations in November following the appointment of Delos Santos, a retired police official, as Bucor chief on November 28.

It was during Asuncion's watch in the BuCor when the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force troopers were installed in the New Bilibid Prison.

Asuncion's Oplan Digmaan Droga (formerly the Oplan Galugad) in various penal colonies in the country that started on July 20 seized mobile phones, high-powered firearms, cash and illegal drugs.

Asuncion was also overseeing BuCor when the stabbing incident in Bilibid involving eight high value inmates, including Jaybee Sebastian, took place. The September 28 stabbing incident led to the death of one inmate, alleged Chinese drug lord Tony Co. (Sunnex)

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