THE suspension of 27 Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials and personnel allegedly involved in the anomalous early release of heinous crime convicts using the controversial good conduct time allowance (GCTA) is a "welcome" development, Malacañang said Tuesday, September 9.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement a day after the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the six-month preventive suspension of 27 BuCor officials following the apparently "strong" evidence that link them to the questionable release of inmates convicted of heinous crimes.
"Welcome lahat 'yun (It's welcome)," the Palace official said in a press conference, when sought for Palace's reaction on the Ombudsman's decision to suspend the Bucor officials.
Panelo said the Palace was optimistic that the anti-graft body's move would eventually shed light on the controversies plaguing the BuCor.
He said the fate of the suspended BuCor officials would depend on the outcome of the investigation.
"Sabi ni Presidente, simula't sapul, dapat i-refer sa Ombudsman para it will conduct its investigation (The President said from the very said that the issue should be referred to the Ombudsman so it will conduct its investigation). And apparently, they found probable cause, hence, the suspension of 27 officials of that office," he said.
"Well, the expectation is we want the truth on the matter in the bureau to come out so that the heads will roll," he added.
In a suspension order approved on Monday, September 9, Ombudsman Samuel Martires noted that his office found "strong" evidence that the suspended BuCor officials "allowed the questionable release of prison convicts."
The allegedly erring BuCor officials are being investigated for administrative cases of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, which may eventually result in their removal from office.
It was President Rodrigo Duterte who ordered the Ombudsman on September 4 to conduct an investigation on BuCor officials, following revelations that 1,914 heinous crime convicts have already been released for allegedly showing good behavior.
Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier revealed the supposedly "well-organized" scheme to release inmates by tampering with their good behavior records, in exchange for as much as P1.5 million each. (SunStar Philippines)