By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang believed that the ambush on Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief lawyer Frederic Santos will not stop the government’s crackdown on the corruption looming in the agency due to the alleged wrong implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) policy.
In an interview, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the incident was unlikely to affect the ongoing investigation because Santos’s death might be totally unrelated to the scheme at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“Siguro mga personal cases ‘yun. ‘Pag ganyang mga tambangan puro personal (I think this is because of a personal issue. Ambushes are often personal in nature),” he told Palace reporters Wednesday.
“Irrelevant naman ‘yan, eh (That’s irrelevant). If you have a personal conflict with any person or group of persons, talagang may problema (then there’s really going to be a problem),” he added.
The Palace official likewise said even without Santos, the investigation into the GCTA fiasco will push through because other officials would surely come out to expose the illegal activities at the NBP.
“Even assuming that it was done in relation to whatever he has done to this government, still, as I said earlier, it will not thwart or stop the campaign against corruption, because people will always be coming out to tell the truth,” Panelo said.
Despite this, Panelo says the Palace condemned the killing of the BuCor top official.
“Of course. Always,” he answered when asked if the Palace wanted justice for Santos.
“We condemn any act of violence, palagi kaming ganyan (We always take that stand). As a matter of policy, we condemn all transgressions of law, any violation inflicted against any person, [or] any murder,” he said.
Santos was reportedly about to fetch his daughter from school when two men shot him near the BuCor headquarters in Muntinlupa City Wednesday afternoon.
It was earlier reported that Santos was “ready to tell all” about the alleged “freedom for sale” scheme at the NBP and other supposed anomalies surrounding the GCTA scheme before the Senate’s last hearing on the issue. However, Senate President Tito Sotto told CNN Philippines that Santos backed out.