BUREAU of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag said that he can now afford to trim his beard – a sign that corruption and illegal activities in the agency have gone down and are bound to end.
When he assumed the post last September, Bantag aired his belief that 95 percent of the agency’s official and personnel are corrupt and that he wanted to replace them wholesale.
The former regional director of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) also promised to have his three-inch beard shaved only after BuCor is free from corruption and illegalities.
No less than Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said that the new BuCor head recommended replacing everybody for immediate reforms in the wake of a scandal that saw the firing of his predecessor Nicanor Faeldon in connection with the early release of convicted heinous crime prisoners.
In an interview during the launching of “Sa Piling Ni Nanay” at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) last Tuesday, Bantag broke the good news that at the moment, he has not heard reports of illegal transactions and other activities going on in the bureau.
“Sa ngayon wala namang reports coming from the police at ibang ahensya na patuloy pa rin ang ilegalidad sa loob ng bureau, kaya ko nasabi na na-address natin ang mga ito,” the controversial BuCor chief told reporters.
Bantag became controversial following the deadly grenade explosion at the Paranaque City Jail that killed10 detained alleged drug lords.
He was slapped with 10 counts of murder but was later downgraded to homicide.
Bantag was recently acquitted by a Paranaque court of the charges saying the prosecution failed to establish his guilt.
At the BuCor, Bantag said he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill his mandate of putting the office back in order.
“Ito ay minsan lang na oportunidad para linisin ang hanay ng kawanihan, lupigin ang pamamayagpag ng naghahari-harian at alagad ng mapanirang droga at itama ang bali-balikong sistema na pinayabong ng kapabayaan at bingi-bingihan at kawalang pakialam ng mga empleyadong kuntento na lang na tumanggap ng sweldo at payola ng mga bilanggo,” Bantag said in his speech.
He said it was not too late to put order at the BuCor.
“Ibalik natin ang kaayusan sa ating kawanihan, ang paggalang ng taong bayan at ang pagtitiwala nila sa ating kakayanan.