WHILE the rest of the country anticipates heads rolling at the BuCor from a strangely-muted President Duterte, many would rather not hear the chilling part of this episode of skullduggery and public betrayal – providing liberty to nearly 2,000 heinous criminals since 2014. The unremorseful ex-cons are best suited for what they had been known for and – God forbid – are plunged in the business of kidnappings and street executions.
Stories of prison inmates being allowed a few months’ off from detention to serve as gun-for-hires are not new. Criminal syndicates continue to connive with notorious prison officials for the felons’ temporary liberty to go after enemies of businessmen and politicians. The liquidation list has probably expanded to include suspected drug users, pushers and dealers.
Their jobs have become simpler with motorbikes a big help to elude arrest and capture by the police who have since been content with reporting incidents of ambush and cold-blooded killings as almost commonplace cases of theft and robbery. The little effort from the PNP to neutralize the killings in Metro Manila and in the provinces of local officials, government officers of corrupt agencies and zealous lawyers is not at all incidental to the brazenness, frequency and brutality of riding-in-tandem masked vigilantes firing away at their targets with total impunity.
Who else could be trusted to carry out the almost daily slaughter but those whose skills for murder and mayhem have been true and tested? Those freed should immediately be recalled more so because their questionable release violated a DOJ order which requires the approval of the Justice secretary.
Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon points to such a direct order from former Justice secretary and Supreme Court Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa. Drilon also disclosed that “included under the order are the convicted criminals in the Chiong sisters rape-slay case in Cebu, whose release orders were reportedly signed by a correctional technical superintendent, which is not in accordance with the law and proper procedure.”
Given the corrupted power and huge resources of those covertly and heavily influencing the leadership of BuCor, the said superintendent must have no other option but to comply with instructions from the “bosses” and to cover for them. But BuCor Chief Administrative Officer 3 Ruperto Traya must have other plans than to help allow the release of life convicts, including the murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez and several drug lords. Traya was in charge of documentation and paperwork, including the safe-keeping of release papers at BuCor. He was gunned down by a riding-in tandem last August 27 in Muntinlupa. There is little doubt Traya knew about the game plan and the high stakes involved but chose to play it clean.
Would we conform to the double-talking Malacanang officials, led by the President himself, who would most likely chorus that this mammoth scandal has only gone up to the level of BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara? We somehow knew that there was something amiss when Guevara initially denied that Faeldon signed the release orders for the 1,914 life termers for heinous crimes which the latter had also denied. If there was a conspiracy, it seems logical that these two should be behaving in more ways than one to try to shield and protect the bigger and mightier hand managing this undaunted criminal network from hell.
If this government continues to play deaf to the endless pleas for justice for the many thousands in EJKs, there is good reason to believe that it has sullied forth into another brazen and inhumane disregard for the law and the victims of the absolutely broken criminal justice system, seemingly justified by the still positive and high satisfaction ratings of our country’s leader.