President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Gerald Bantag as the new Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief as a replacement to sacked Nicanor Faeldon.
Bantag served as a jail warden in Parañaque and Manila City Jails.
According to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, the President selected Bantag based on his professional competence and honesty.
“The Palace is behind the President’s decision and is confident that DG Bantag will continue the administration’s campaign against corruption as he spearheads reform initiatives in the Bureau,” said Panelo in a statement.
Last week, Senator Bong Go said he wanted a ‘killer’ to replace Faeldon at BuCor.
Gerald Bantag is facing charges over the death of 10 inmates
In 2016, Bantag was fired as jail warden of the Parañaque City Jail with two other jail guards. It was in connection with the explosion in the said jail that killed ten inmates, including two Chinese.
Bantag and Jail Officer 2 Ricardo Zulueta and Jail Officer 2 Victor Pascua were charged with ten counts of murder.
Panelo said the President did not consider criminal charges against Bantag as an issue.
He also said Panelo is considered innocent pending conviction by the court.
“The constitutional presumption of innocence applies to him, so hindi mo sasabihin na siya ay isang kriminal,” said Panelo.
(The constitutional presumption of innocence applies to him, so you wouldn’t say he’s a criminal.)
Panelo highlighted Bantag’s long experience in the Bureau of Jail Management, and Penology (BJMP) qualified him to the position.