BuCor chief charged for Bilibid 'anomalies'
- Edu Punay () - February 21, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A disgruntled subordinate formally accused Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Gaudencio Pangilinan before the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday of having a hand in alleged anomalies at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Kabungsuan Makilala, a former assistant head of the bureau’s bids and awards committee who was transferred by Pangilinan to Davao penal colony last year, went to the DOJ office in Manila to submit a complaint.

 Escorted by lawyer Alan Paguia and Whistleblowers Association president Sandra Cam, Makilala also applied for witness protection as he claimed there have been threats to his life.

Makilala alleged that Pangilinan approved a P16-million catering contract, had around 50 “historical” trees cut, and transferred inmates from the NBP to other facilities without Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s approval.

He also accused the BuCor chief of breaking a P1.42-million repair project into four purchase orders costing less than P500,000 each to avoid public bidding.

Devil in the details

Makilala alleged that Pangilinan issued a notice to proceed to caterer Meyer’s Foods and Services Inc. last Feb. 10 for a 10-day menu cycle for 1,949 inmates at the Reception and Diagnostic Center and Muntinlupa Juvenile Therapeutic Center in the NBP’s minimum security compound. The deal is worth P16 million.

He also accused the BuCor chief of violating the government procurement law by breaking a P1.42-million project for renovation of NBP administration building last month into four purchase orders “to make it appear as small value procurement without the need of any bidding process.”

Makilala said the purchase orders were issued on the same date to Dotgain Solutions, Inc. for the repair of the women’s restroom (P375,000) and the Gate 1 dome canopy (P478,000); and to Grand Potential Inc. for the repair of the men’s restroom (P434,876) and the flooring at the assistant director’s office (P133,000).

Makilala said Pangilinan should also be held liable for ordering the cutting of around 50 trees since October 2011, a move he said should have had De Lima’s approval.

He also questioned Pangilinan’s order to transfer 52 inmates from the NBP Compound to Camp General Capinpin, Rizal and Dasmariñas, Cavite last Jan. 19 and Feb. 9 – again without the allegedly necessary clearance from the DOJ chief.

Lastly, he accused the BuCor chief of illegally appointing Romeo Fajardo as assistant director for operations in September last year.

Pangilinan said Makilala is not credible since he has an axe to grind after he ordered his transfer to Davao penal colony. He also said the supposed whistleblower owned a canteen outside the BuCor building that was demolished during facility improvement operations since he took over the bureau in July 2011.

De Lima said she will wait for the complaint and Pangilinan’s response before she decides whether to order a preliminary investigation or just a fact-finding probe.

Pangilinan said he has already submitted an initial explanation to De Lima.              – With Aie Balagtas See

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