The presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday that former BuCor chief and now Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa should also be investigated for freeing prisoners convicted of heinous crimes.
President Duterte said on Wednesday night that he wants the Ombudsman to investigate all BuCor officials who were involved in the implementation of good conduct time allowance or GCTA law. The law benefitted prisoners, including convicted drug traffickers, rapist, and murderers such as those involved in Chiong sisters’ rape-slay case.
The Office of the Ombudsman had the sole jurisdiction over the case.
“Since the Ombudsman has assumed jurisdiction over this case, no other agency is allowed to conduct a parallel investigation unless so authorized by the Ombudsman under law,” Ombudsman Samuel Martires said.
Dela Rosa was the BuCor chief from May to October 2018. Sacked Nicanor Faeldon succeeded his position after Faeldon resigned from the Bureau of Customs when P6.4-billion worth of shipment of crystal meth managed to slip into the Philippines.
Dela Rosa said he was open to the investigation.
“No problem. I’m open to everything,” Dela Rosa confirmed in a text message.
Bato Dela Rosa freed 120 convicts
In an earlier statement, Dela Rosa admitted that he signed 120 release orders when he was the BuCor chief. Only one those freed under GCTA law was a drug convict.
According to reports, the BuCor released 22,049 prisoners under the good conduct credit law from 2014 to 2019, including 1,914 heinous crime convicts.
President Duterte ordered the more than 1,900 released convicts to surrender and return to jail within 15 days. If not, they will be declared as fugitives and will be hunted down.