Aguirre names Raagas as BuCor OIC

MANILA-- Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday named Rey M. Raagas as officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), replacing Benjamin Delos Santos who resigned from the position last week.

Mr. Raagas is hereby authorized to perform functions in relation to the day-to-day operations of the Bureau, functions delegated to the Director Generaland such other ministerial duties that are essential in order not to disrupt public service, Aguirre said in his Department Order 477 dated July 13, 2017 but was relased to media on Monday.

Raagas is currently BuCor's administrative division chief.

Delos Santos submitted his irrevocable resignation last July 13 after Aguirre ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the resurgence of drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Aguirre issued Department Order No. 457 directing NBI Director Dante Gierran to conduct probe and case build-up on the resurgence of illegal drugs trade.

If evidence warrants, the NBI was also granted the authority to file the appropriate administrative and criminal cases against those responsible.

Delos Santos cited the resurgence of narcotics trading at the national penitentiary as the reason for going back to retirement.

Having been prevailed upon not to on leave, I have since seriously considered the controversy as a signal for me to return to my retirement life, he said.

Delos Santos assured he did not leave the BuCor in disarray and boasted leaving behind significant changes in the bureau.

I am confident that the seeds of change have been amply spread in the rough and rugged road towards a reformed BuCor, he said.

I am sure capable successor will pick up from where I have contributed in our drive to stop drugs, crime and corruption, added Delos Santos.

He assumed the post last November, replacing retired police Chief Superintendent Rolando Asuncion

In related development, Aguirre formally recommended to President Duterte newly-appointed head of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and retired general Dionisio Santiago as Delos Santos' replacement.

In my humble opinion, General Santiago can very well lead the BuCor, Aguirre said in his letter to Duterte.

Santiago headed the DDB after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte fired Benjamin Reyes for contradicting him on the number of drug addicts in the country.

Apart from being former AFP chief-of-staff, Santiago also headed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and was a former head of BuCor from June 2003 to September 2004.

Aside from NBP, BuCor's other operating units include Abuyog Penal Colony in Leyte, Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City and the Davao Prison and Penal Farm.

The BuCor is one of the attached agencies of the DOJ.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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