By Jeffrey Damicog
Newly appointed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag sought to bring with him trusted people from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Bantag made the request after Bantag took his oath of office last September 20 before Guevarra.
“First thing he did was to request the detail or secondment of certain BJMP people whom he can trust to help him at the BuCor),” Guevarra said.
“I told him I’ll discuss it with [Interior] Sec. [Eduardo] Año,” he assured Bantag.
The BJMP is under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), while the BuCor is attached to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Bantag replaced former BuCor Director General Nicanor Faeldon who got sacked due to the problematic implementation of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10592.
RA 10592 which was passed in 2013 revised provisions of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and granted more GCTAs to convicts which allowed their earlier release.
However, concerns were raised that undeserving inmates might be benefiting from the law after it was revealed that rape-slay convict former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez and other prisoners convicted with heinous crimes were up for release.
Prior to becoming BuCor chief, Bantag served as BJMP regional director in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) region.
He previously served as jail warden in Parañaque, Manila, and Malabon City jails.
In 2016, Bantag was the jail warden when a powerful blast hit Parañaque City jail that left 10 people dead. He was among those injured in the blast.