JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra has called on officials of the Bureau of Corrections to seek the guidance of the Department of Justice on important policy matters, like road closures which recently hogged headlines following public furor over the construction of a wall in Katarungan Village, Muntinlupa City.
In a message, Guevarra likewise advised BuCor executives to coordinate their future undertakings – as a matter of courtesy – with local government units where bureau properties are situated.
“We discussed these matters during our meeting with the BUCOR last November 29. As a mother agency, we reminded them that it’s important to consult with us for guidance on policy matters, and to show courtesy to the LGU who has political jurisdiction over the BUCOR properties, ” Guevarra said in a message on Sunday.
BuCor is an attached agency of the DOJ. Under the law, the DOJ has administrative supervision over BuCor.
The bureau has constructed a wall to a road giving access to residents of Katarungan Village 1 and Katarungan Village 2 on Friday, November 26.
The wall was torn down by angry residents because it restricted their mobility. In response, BuCor destroyed the entrance to the road on Saturday, November 27, reports showed.
The road served as a main access point to the city proper of residents of the Department of Justice Katarungan Village 1 and 2 housing projects, and students and teachers of Muntinlupa National High School-Main and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, which are adjacent to the village.
Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said BuCor did not get a permit and did not coordinate with the city government before building the wall leading to the Katarungan Village.
The Muntinlupa city council has passed a resolution condemning BuCor for its latest action and requested the Senate to conduct a probe.
Last March, BuCor built a wall on the Insular Prison Road in New Bilibid Prison closing the main access point of the residents of the government’s Southville 3 housing project to the city proper.
For its part, BuCor defended the construction of the wall, saying it was necessary to address the “illegal activities” inside the densely-packed Bilibid.
“This measure is made in response to several incidents and reports on illegal activities perpetuated inside the NBP Camp,” BuCor said.
The BuCor prison facilities are New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, Davao Prison and Penal Farm in Davao del Norte, the Leyte Regional Prison in Southern Leyte, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City, and Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan.