Catapang to inherit ‘problematic’ BuCor

Bureau of Corrections acting chief Gregorio Catapang Jr. on Tuesday stressed that if and once he assumes post as director general of BuCor, he will surely inherit numerous problems which allegedly proliferated during the previous BuCor administrations.

Catapang said the BuCor previously “failed its mandate” to promote the welfare of its inmates, citing the case of Jun Villamor, who was killed inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

The mission, according to him, failed to protect the PDLs so they will not be harmed just like what happened to Villamor who was killed by putting a plastic bag over his head until he suffocated.

Catapang also said that previous BuCor administrations also failed to rid of drugs and criminality from within its prisons, as Villamor himself was named a middle man in the murder of broadcaster Percy Lapid.

The acting BuCor chief admitted that illegal drugs remain a problem within prisons, saying that drug syndicates operating inside have yet to be eliminated.

He cited the “shabu laboratory” that was raided by authorities in November, where more than 20 kilograms of the illegal drug worth P136 million was seized.

Catapang’s statements come a day after Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said that he will soon be appointed permanent director general of the BuCor.

Catapang, for his part, said that he would continue his job serving BuCor regardless of his position.

If formally named chief, he would replace suspended BuCor chief Gerald Bantag, who is facing murder raps before the Department of Justice over the murders of Lapid and Villamor.

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