BuCor files P1 billion plunder, graft raps vs Bantag others

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
BuCor files P1 billion plunder, graft raps vs Bantag others
Suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag attends the preliminary investigation for the murder case of broadcaster Percy Lapid at the Department of Justice on December 5, 2022.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag is facing charges of plunder, graft, malversation of public funds, grave misconduct and dishonesty over the alleged anomalous bidding for the construction of prison facilities in Davao, Palawan and Leyte amounting to about P1 billion.

BuCor chief Gregorio Catapang Jr. filed the charges against Bantag and six other officials at the Department of Justice yesterday, accusing them of conspiring to “misappropriate public funds” by rigging the bidding process for the construction of structures at the Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Ihawig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan and the Leyte Regional Prison.

Among the charges filed by the BuCor are 11 counts of malversation through falsification of official documents, 11 counts of graft, 11 counts of violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officers and Employees, as well as administrative complaints for grave misconduct, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service.

Others facing the complaints are BuCor Technical Supt. Arnold Guzman, Insp. Ric Rocaturba, Insp. Solomon Areniego, Technical Officer 1 Jor-el de Jesus and CTO2 Angelo Castillo and Alexis Catindig.

Catapang alleged that Bantag conspired with the other respondents to manipulate the outcome of the bidding process by creating a bids and awards committee (BAC) separate from that of BuCor.

This new BAC then allowed the eligibility of the joint venture with CB Garay Philwide Builders and Rakki Corp. despite insufficient requirements.

“This sinister plan to misappropriate public funds started during the bidding because director-general Bantag has created a separate BAC and in the BAC that was created … most of the members, especially the chairman, are non-BuCor permanent employees, which is in violation of the procurement law,” BuCor legal counsel Al Ferreras told reporters.

The fresh batch of complaints is Bantag’s fourth as he had earlier been charged with murder for the killing of radio broadcaster Percy Lapid and inmate Cristito Villamor Palaña, who was alleged to be the middleman in Lapid’s killing contract.

Earlier, two separate criminal complaints for torture and serious physical injuries, among others, were filed against Bantag by inmates and jail guards of several BuCor facilities.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with