MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a total revamp of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in light of reported corruption within the agency, his spokesman Salvador Panelo said Wednesday.
The order comes a day after the Palace announced the designation of former jail warden Gerald Bantag as the new director-general of the BuCor.
“Total revamp sa Bureau of Corrections. Ang pagkakasabi niya sa akin, yung mga guards doon, ililipat niya sa probinsiya; yung mga nasa probinsiyang guards, ililipat niya sa BuCor,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.
“Total revamp and remove all the officials…Eh yung corruption there, he wants to stop that,” he said.
The revamp, effective “immediately,” will also likely give Bantag a free hand to select his own personnel.
Asked whether the President plans to meet with current officials of the BuCor, Panelo said “I don’t think he wants to meet them.”
The BuCor has been under scrutiny following the release of some 2,000 heinous-crime convicts since 2014, under a law that reduces a prisoner’s sentence due to good conduct.
Duterte has given the freed heinous crime convicts until Thursday, Sept. 19 to surrender or risk being considered as fugitives.
Families of the released convicts' victims have expressed anguish over allegations of corruption in the system, originally meant to decongest prisons and give a chance to deserving reformed