BuCor legal chief linked to GCTA controversy gunned down

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
BuCor legal chief linked to GCTA controversy gunned down
In this August 2019 photo, Bureau of Corrections legal office chief Frederic Santos explains why they cannot identify the beneficiaries of good conduct time allowance, in a press conference at the BuCor.
The STAR / Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:40 p.m.) — Lawyer Fredric Santos, the suspended legal chief of the Bureau of Corrections, was gunned down by unidentified shooters on Wednesday afternoon.

A police report said that Santos was on board a Toyota Hilux pickup truck and was about to fetch his daughter in Muntinlupa City when he was shot at.

“Upon reaching the place of incident, suddenly two unidentified malefactors appeared and shot the victim [point blank],” the report read.

The suspects fled to unknown direction.

Santos was shot to the head and was declared dead by the Muntinlupa Rescue Team.

Santos was one of the 27 BuCor officials who was ordered suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman as it looked into the “questionable” release of 1,914 heinous crime convicts under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

He also served as one of the resource persons at the Senate inquiry into the GCTA law. 

Testimony on BuCor corruption

In one of the hearings, Sen. Panfilo Lacson asked the resource persons on whether there is corruption at the bureau.

Santos admitted that there is “petty corruption” inside the New Bilibid Prison.

He said that a "keeper," whose duty involves monitoring inmates, may sometimes receive P500-P1,000 for covering up the use of mobile phone or drinking alcohol inside the penitentiary.

Deaths related to GCTA?

in the killing of former Rep. Edgar Mendoza (Batangas), also a practicing lawyer, whose body was found charred in a vehicle in Laguna.

A source told The STAR that the family of one of Mendoza’s clients gave the slain lawyer a “huge amount of money” for his release through the controversial law.

Police investigators said that Mendoza was killed upon the order of Sherwin Sanchez, a Bilibid inmate.

Last August 28, Ruperto Ruperto Traya Jr., Chief Administrative Officer 3 of the BuCor, was shot to death as he alighted his car.

At the time of his death, the 53-year-old BuCor official was the second highest official at the agency’s records office. The office processed documents for the release of convicted murderer-rapist Antonio Sanchez and other high-profile convicts.

News of Sanchez's possible release led to a public outcry that in turn prompted the Senate hearings.

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