Bureau of Corrections

Bam to New BuCor Chief: Prepare for Challenges Ahead

Be prepared for the tough challenges ahead.

 Sen. Bam Aquino made this advice to newly appointed Bureau of Corrections director general Ret. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Cruz III as he congratulated him on his new post.

“General Cruz must be prepared for the tough challenges that await him in his new position. Many have failed to address these challenges, but with Cruz’s vast experience, I am sure he’s the right man for the job,” Sen. Bam said.

Sen. Bam said among the challenges that will put Cruz to the test are the VIP treatment of moneyed prisoners, congestion and the alleged operation of drug syndicates inside the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

“A caste-like system in our prisons is unacceptable. Justice will not fully be served if some prisoners still enjoy the perks and privileges while incarcerated while poor prisoners endure the worst,” the senator said.

“The alleged operation of drug syndicates inside the prison walls must also be addressed immediately to prevent them from destroying more lives and families,” Sen. Bam added.

The senator also urged Cruz to expedite the release of prisoners who have fully served the sentences or those eligible for pardon to decongest the country’s cramped prisons.

 “We challenge the new director to speed up the processing of the release papers of the inmates, who have served their terms dutifully.  This way, the NBP would also be decongested,” Sen. Bam stressed.

The senator also called on the government to implement thorough reform in the system in all BuCor prisons all over the country, making conditions more humane for prisoners.

“They may be behind bars for their crimes, but they are still human beings who deserve humane treatment and we must not deprive them of that right,” the senator added.

 By implementing reforms that will help reform these prisoners, Sen. Bam said they would emerge better and more productive citizens for our society.

Charge those Behind the Special Treatment of Prisoners – Sen. Bam

“Heads must roll, including those of top prison officials, for making a mockery of the country’s justice system.”

Senator Bam Aquino made this pronouncement as he called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure that all those behind the entry of luxurious items, cash and illegal drugs and the special treatment of prisoners at the national penitentiary will be punished.

“With or without their knowledge, top prison officials are still responsible for the presence of contraband and perks given to special inmates inside the prison cells,” Aquino stressed.

“Those accountable officials must be removed for this revelation that severely puts into question our country’s penal and justice system,” he added.

Aquino said the special treatment given to prisoners is unacceptable and unfair, saying they should be serving the punishment for their crimes against society.

“Isn’t it shameful that the system that is supposed to mete out justice mirrors how unjust our society is?  The prisoners who have the money can go around the law and enjoy perks inside the prisons, while the prisoners who are poor endure the worst,” the senator said.

Aquino also lauded Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for her determined effort to reform the country’s prison system.

However, the senator said De Lima’s efforts should not only focus on the NBP but also in other prisons under the Bureau of Corrections and the DOJ.

Aside from the NBP, other prison facilities under the DOJ are Correctional Institution for Women, Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm and the Leyte Regional Prison.

The senator also called for the immediate implementation of Republic Act 10575 or the Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013 to modernize and professionalize the country’s prison system, as the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) have been signed already.

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