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Guevarra: BuCor should consult first on road closures

The action of the BuCor prompted the Muntinlupa City government to declare its director general, Gerald Bantag, persona non grata. The city government also said it will file charges against BuCor officials.

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The Department of Justice (DoJ) on Sunday advised the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to consult with the agency and the local government units (LGU) before implementing road closures within the compounds of prison facilities.

DoJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra stressed that the BuCor should know the importance of consultation to have guidance on certain policies that will be implemented.

“As the 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 which have political jurisdiction over the BuCor properties,” said Guevarra, adding that the agency exercises administrative supervision over BuCor.

To recall, the DoJ set up a meeting with BuCor officials on 26 November over the closure of a road within the compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Residents affected of the road closures expressed their disagreement with the action of the BuCor, which prompted the Muntinlupa City government to declare its director general, Gerald Bantag, persona non grata. The city government also said it will file charges against BuCor officials.

Guevarra said that during the meeting, BuCor had agreed to have the closed road re-opened to the affected residents.

“The BuCor, after consultations with the DoJ, will remove the road block off the Katarungan Villages as soon as a control gate, which was the original plan, has been put up,” Guevarra said.

“DG Bantag has respectfully requested the Sangguniang Lungsod ng Muntinlupa to reconsider its resolution declaring him persona non grata,” he added.

To recall, Bantag has expressed sadness that the Muntinlupa City Council declared him as persona non grata, or an unwelcome person, in the city after the agency built a wall on a road leading to a DoJ housing project inside the NBP Reservation in Barangay Poblacion.

The Muntinlupa City Council passed six resolutions including declaring Bantag persona non grata in Muntinlupa after the wall was built by BuCor.

Under Resolution 2021-566, signed by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi last 2 December, it is stated that “for several decades now, the relations between the City Government of Muntinlupa and the Bureau of Corrections has always been harmonious, characterized by mutual courtesy and respect and has always been supportive of each other’s mandates.”

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