Plunder case being readied against Bantag

December 20, 2022 Hector Lawas 299 views

THE Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is now readying plunder charges against suspended corrections chief Gerald Bantag over unfinished prison projects worth P300 million and the controversial Bilibid diggings, where an unauthorized joint venture agreement (JVA) was entered into with a private firm.

BuCor Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Gregorio Catapang Jr. revealed this development, adding the case against Bantag, whom he replaced after the latter was suspended over the death of middleman Jun Villamor, may be filed next week.

“Pina-finalize ko na lang yung pag-file ko ng plunder kasi may gusto na mag-state witness, a BuCor official pero hindi ko muna ibibigay pangalan para medyo may konting sorpresa,” Catapang said.

BuCor, during the time of Bantag, entered into a JVA with a private firm to construct a swimming pool inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said the JVA was “unenforceable” due to, among others, lack of bidding and documentary requirements.

Also, Catapang said he recently discovered that 95% of the funding for the modernization of the BuCor’s three penal farms had been released, but only 60% of the projects have been completed.

He was referring to the Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Iwahig Prison, and Penal Farm, as well as Leyte Regional Prison.