NOW it’s up to Ombudsman Samuel Martires to file charges against former Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon over the alleged anomalies surrounding the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) rule.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra issued the statement in light of a Senate committee report recommending the filing of graft and direct bribery cases against Faeldon.
“The OMB (Office of the Ombudsman) has primary investigative jurisdiction over anti-graft cases,” Guevarra said.
Aside from Faeldon, the Senate report also recommended the filing of graft charges against BuCor records chief Ramoncito Roque, Corrections Senior Insp. Benilda Bansil, Corrections Officer Veronica Buño, Dr. Ernesto Tamayo, Dr. Urcisio Cenas and nursing attendant Meryl Benitez.
The Senate conducted public hearings into accusations linking correction officials to anomalies like the alleged GCTA-for-sale scheme where inmates would pay hefty sums in exchange for an early release.
Recently, graft probers ordered the dismissal from government service of three BuCor officials who were accused of demanding P50, 000 from an inmate in exchange for an early release under the GCTA rule.
Also in a 16-page resolution, Martires ordered the immediate filing of direct bribery charges and for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against respondents Roque, Bancil, and Buño.
Apart from dismissal and indictment, the three correction officers were likewise disqualified to hold any public office, and their retirement benefits forfeited in favor of the government.
Graft probers found prima facie evidence against them for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the public’s interest.
“This Office finds probable cause to indict the respondents for one count of direct bribery under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and one count of Violation of Section 3(e) of R.A 3019,” the resolution read in part.
Whistleblower Yolanda Camilon accused them of extoring P50,000 supposedly to facilitate the release of her husband from the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.