Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon believes it’s high time for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to have direct supervision and control over the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to fight corruption within the penal system.
In an interview over dwIZ radio Saturday (September 14), Drilon said Republic Act 10575 or the BuCor Act of 2013 need to be amended because it made the agency in charge of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) too powerful.
Under the law, the DOJ only has administrative supervision over BuCor, an attached agency.
“Sa ngayon, ang ahensya na may control ang DOJ ay ang national prosecutions service. Sa iba wala na siyang control. Lahat ‘yan mga little republics na,” said Drilon, a former DOJ Secretary.
Senate hearings on the alleged irregularities regarding inmates’ release due to good conduct have opened a can of worms about BuCor.
Witnesses have appeared at the Senate to testify about the supposed corruption within BuCor, from hospital passes for sale to allowing women to be brought in to inmates for a fee.
Drilon said the DOJ’s power over other attached agencies must likewise be strengthened.
“Dapat maibalik ang kapangyarihan, supervisory and control powers, sa lahat ng ahensya ng DOJ,” he said.