MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is giving Bureau of Corrections director Gaudencio Pangilinan the benefit of the doubt and is not prejudging him over the disappearance of Rolito Go from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) until the investigation is completed.
The President said Pangilinan has instituted reforms in the prisons system but acknowledged that there are syndicates operating in the Bilibid, which the President wants to eradicate.
He said he wants to know if these syndicates deliberately sabotaged Pangilinan’s work.
"Isa sa mga tanong na gusto kong masagot: Eto ba, may nagkulang? Or merong sumasasabotahe sa ginagawa ni Director Pangilinan, talagang sinet-up siya? Gaano kalalim ba ang ugat ng mga sindikatong kumikilos sa loob ng Bilibid? At paano ba once and for all masisigurado na ‘yan ay maging lugar kung saan marereporma ang mga bilanggo imbes na lalo pang humusay sa kanilang mga criminal activities," Aquino told reporters.
He said that the multi-agency investigation will focus into the circumstances of Rolito Go’s disappearance: if it was indeed a case of kidnapping or an escape.
He said BuCor personnel who would be found liable would be held accountable.
"Maraming tanong sa nangyari. Parang [ang] minimum na expectation, hindi dapat nangyari ang nangyari. So may imbestigasyon: bakit ba nanyari ang nangyaring ito? 'Pag tapos ng imbestigasyon, syempre, may panagutan (papanagutin) kung sino ang mga nagkulang," he said.
"Kung may kidnap man, paano makakapsok ang kidnapper d'yan? Kung nakatakas naman, bakit ganoon kaluwag ang ginawa? In spite of the reforms ay may nakatakas pa rin?"
Pangilinan is currently on leave while the investigation is ongoing. The NBP will be under the direct supervision of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in the meantime, pending the appointment of an Officer-in-Charge.
The President pointed out that reforms have been put in place at the Bureau of Corrections since Pangilinan took over, including plans to decongest jails.
There were also plans to professionalize the prison guards and let them undergo training.
But Aquino admitted that success could be achieved overnight.
"Pero aminin ko na sa inyo. Bibiruin ko naman at mambobola ako kung sabihin kong overnight ‘yung reforms, magtataumpay. Napakaraming sindikato d’yan at 'yun ang gusto nating buwagin lahat. Kasama na rin d'yan 'yung dati pang problema na minana natin, overcrowded. Andaming kailangang gawin d'yan. Sayang no. Paniwala ko patungo na tayo doon, ginagawa na ‘yung mga reporma. May mga tao at samahan na pumuri sa ginawa ni Director Pangilinan, sa mga reporma na ininstitute n’ya. Pero nangyari pa rin ‘yun," he said.