Press Release
January 29, 2020


Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, yesterday commended the Office of the Ombudsman for acting promptly in dismissing and indicting three officials of the Bureau of Correction (BuCor) who were accused of extorting P50,000 from a Bilibid inmate in exchange for his early release in what is known as the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) for sale scheme.

"It's a good turn from the Ombudsman. I'm glad that the Ombudsman moves fast and sends a strong signal," he said.

Gordon, however, noted that the Ombudsman should have casted a wider net and included others, including higher-ranked BuCor officials who were also involved in the criminal activity.

"We are sure that there are still others involved who should be prosecuted. They should have cast a wider net. Dapat pati 'yung malalaki ma-prosecute--tulad ni Faeldon. Strike two na siya diyan. Pati iyong mga doktor na nagpapabayad at nagpapalabas ng tao, dapat pati sila ma-prosecute. Pati yung chief legal," he said.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires issued a resolution dismissing from public office former BuCor documentations chief Ramoncito Roque, as well as Maria Belinda Bansil and Veronica Buno, on top of an indictment for one count of direct bribery under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and one count of Violation of Section 3(e) of R.A 3019. The three were also perpetually disqualified from holding public office. Their retirement benefits were forfeited, while their civil service eligibility was cancelled.

The charges against the three will be filed before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC).

The Ombudsman's action stemmed from a Senate inquiry that the Justice and Human Rights Committee conducted jointly with the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers & Investigations (Blue Ribbon) on the capricious, arbitrary, and abusive implementation of the said law, which was bared to the public following the botched premature release of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was sentenced to seven counts of reclusion perpetua for the 1993 rape-slay of UP Los Banos students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez. Gordon is chairman of both Senate committees.

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