Bureau of Corrections director Gerald Bantag Jr. threatened to relieve corrupt BuCor personnel who opposed the changes being implemented at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
BuCor chief to crooks: Go ahead, kill me
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Gerald Bantag Jr. yesterday dared his men to kill him if they found his methods to spur reforms in the prison agency unacceptable.

Bantag threatened to relieve corrupt BuCor personnel who opposed the changes being implemented at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

 “Expect more heads to roll. I know what you’re thinking. You want to kill me? Go ahead!” he said in Filipino during yesterday’s flag-raising rites at the NBP in Muntinlupa City.

Bantag, Justice Undersecretary Deo Marco and other officials led the destruction of the contraband, including gadgets allegedly used by inmates in drug transactions.

A pison or steamroller was used to destroy cell phones, pocket WiFi devices, routers, laptops, bundles of tobacco, liquor, CDs and CD players, pornographic magazines and bladed weapons.

Prison authorities confiscated the contraband from the inmates during the three-week clearing operations at the NBP.

According to the BuCor, tobacco costs about P4,000 per roll in Bilibid. Liquor sells for P10,000 per bottle.

Bantag said he had been receiving death threats and that there was a plot to besmirch his name.

He maintained that such threats would not deter him from implementing reforms at the national penitentiary.

Bantag vowed to continue conducting operations against high-value inmates at the maximum security compound allegedly involved in drug deals.

He said a technical working group to be led by BuCor spokesman and NBP south quadrant superintendent Alberto Tapiru would be set up to push for the reforms.

Bantag said he would also lobby for the appointment of a career official as BuCor director general.

He said he wants BuCor personnel to be equal to the so-called “tri-bureau” of the Department of the Interior and Local Government or its three attached agencies – the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

To date, 3,000 corrections officers comprise the prison agency, Tapiru told reporters.

He said hiring more BuCor officers would control the movement of drugs and criminal rings in Bilibid.

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