This file photo shows the New Bilibid Prison.
The STAR/Miguel De Guzman, file
NBI ordered to probe ‘hospital pass for sale’ at Bilibid
( - September 10, 2019 - 3:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the alleged sale of hospital passes to convicts of the New Bilibid Prison.

In an order dated Monday, Justice chief Menardo Guevarra directed the NBI to conduct an investigation and case build-up into the alleged illegal practice of selling hospital passes to convicts who want to be transferred to the New Bilibid Prison hospital to escape jail congestion.

“If evidence warrants, [the NBI is directed] to file appropriate charges against persons found responsible,” the order read.

Guevarra also ordered NBI Director Dante Gierran to submit reports on the progress of the investigation and case build-up.

The alleged “hospital pass for sale” came amid reports that Bureau of Corrections officials and personnel sold good conduct time allowance credits to national penitentiary inmates who want to cut short their jail time.

GMA News reported that some convicts who faked illness and bought the so-called “hospital referral official pass” from BuCor employees were moved to Bilibid hospital.

At least 1,900 heinous crime convicts have been released by the BuCor in the last five years based on the application of RA 10592, the law on GCTA. 

The Justice department will also order Melvin Buenafe, BuCor officer-in-charge, to serve the notices of preventive suspension against the bureau’s 27 personnel issued by the Office of the Ombudsman. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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