JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday feels a need to review Republic Act 10575 because it supposedly diminished the Justice Department’s control over the troubled Bureau of Corrections.
“I am beginning to think that the law itself that supposedly strengthened the BuCor (and consequently diminished Department of Justice control over it) may have to be reviewed,” Guevarra said referring to Republic Act 10575 or the good conduct time allowance rule.
RA 10575, passed in 2013, strengthened BuCor powers but retained the “administrative supervision” of the Department of Justice over the bureau.
But Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said, “Since its passage, DOJ can only exercise administrative supervision over the BuCor instead of control.”
Perete explained that this is the same law used by the BuCor’s legal division “to justify its assertion that its decisions as regards the release of high-profile inmates do not need notice to, much less prior approval, by the Secretary of Justice.”
“Some form of control over BuCor may be more appropriate,” Perete said.
The DOJ officials issued the statement following Senate hearings on alleged irregularities inside BuCor, such as, the sale of prison hospital privileges, and other illegal activities like prostitution, kidnapping-for-ransom and gambling that are purportedly operated within the New Bilibid Prison.