Prison exec's slay 'very likely' linked to 'freedom for sale': Justice chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2020 11:01 AM

Bureau of Corrections Legal Division chief Atty. Frederick Anthony Santos, listens during Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation on the alleged selling of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) held inside the Philippine Senate in Pasay City on Sept. 12, 2019. Mike Alquinto, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The fatal shooting of a former prison official is "very likely" linked to his testimony on an alleged "good conduct pass for sale" scheme, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Thursday. 

Lawyer Fredric Santos, former legal division chief of the Bureau of Corrections, told senators last year that then BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon approved the questionable release of some prisoners due to good conduct time allowance (GCTA) without notifying Guevarra. 

Santos, who later recanted his statement, was shot dead Wednesday by unidentified assailants near his son's school in Muntinlupa. 

The killing "very likely... might have something to do with the GCTA issue", Guevarra said in a statement. 

Guevarra said he ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the crime. 

Investigators have yet to identify any person of interest because surveillance videos of the crime were "defective", Muntinlupa police chief Col. Hermogenes Cabe earlier said. 

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee this month recommended the filing of charges against Faeldon and 6 other officials over alleged anomalies in the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) that freed some prisoners. 

At least 3 BuCor officials had been killed since 2018. Metro Manila Police said the murders could have links to the release of heinous crime convicts.