Ombudsman orders 3 BuCor personnel dismissed over GCTA controversy
The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday ordered the dismissal from service of three Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) personnel for direct bribery in exchange for premature release of an inmate from the New Bilibid Prison.
In a partial decision dated last January 20, the Ombudsman found Documents and Processing Section officer-in-charge Ramoncito Roque, Corrections Senior Inspector Maria Belinda Bansil, and Corrections Officer 3 Veronica Buño guilty for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
The three officials were among the 27 BuCor personnel who were suspended September last year over the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law, which grants inmates shorter jail time based on how they behave inside the jail.
The Ombudsman has yet to rule on the complaint against the 24 others.
The officials were found guilty after a wife of an inmate, Yolanda Camilon, testified in a Senate hearing revealing Roque, Bansil and Buño demanded and received P50,000 from her in exchange for the release of her husband.
The three officials failed to release her husband on their agreed date which was March 2019.
Despite Roque’s denial, Camilon maintained her stand that the three officials received money from her.
The Ombudsman said Roque, Bansil, and Buño were public officers, “conspiring together, acted in bad faith, or at the very least, gross inexcusable negligence” by saying they can manipulate the computation of GCTA to result.
The three BuCor personnel also face forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from public office.
The Ombudsman noted that if they have been separated from service, they should pay the office a fine equivalent to one years’ worth of salary.
In a separate partial resolution, the Office of the Ombudsman also found probable cause to charge them with direct bribery and graft and ordered that these cases be filed against them before the regional trial court of Muntinlupa.
Last year, the Senate Blue ribbon Committee conducted hearings on the alleged “GCTA-for-sale” after it was announced that former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who is convicted for rape and murder, will be granted early release.
Because of this controversy, President Rodrigo Duterte publicly fired Nicanor Faeldon as BuCor chief, due to the controversy over the release of some 2,000 inmates convicted of heinous crimes under the good conduct time allowance law. Ella Dionisio/DMS