MANILA (3rd UPDATE) - Justice Secretary Leila De Lima has formally relieved Manuel Co as Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge (OIC), designating National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Deputy Director Rafael Ragos as the new BuCor OIC.
Ragos will takeover the post immediately by virtue of Dept. Order No. 981 dated Nov. 20.
In a statement, De Lima expressed appreciation for Co's stint at the BuCor but said it is "not fair" to further burden him with two functions.
Co is the Administrator of the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA). He was designated BuCor OIC in August following the indefinite leave of BuCor Director Gaudencio Pangilinan; Pangilinan went on leave to give way to an investigation into the abduction of convicted killer and NBP inmate Rolito Go.
"I am very grateful and appreciative of all the hard work and sacrifices of Administrator Manny Co while he served as OIC of the BuCor. It is not an easy job to head one agency, and it is that much more daunting to head two agencies simultaneously, especially when one of them comes with tremendous challenges like the magnitude of those that accompany the post of OIC-BuCor Director.
"I feel it is not fair to further burden him with the demands of running and overseeing the operations of the BuCor and several penal farms and colonies," De Lima said.
The justice chief said she saw Ragos as "possessing the fire, toughness and single-mindedness of character to immediately install drastic but effective changes to address the major problems in the BuCor, such as the smuggling and trade in illegal drugs and other contrabands."
As OIC, Ragos shall oversee the day-to-day administration of BuCor operations under the direct supervision of De Lima. His new function is in addition to his duties with the NBI, it will, however, not include "the power to act on matters involving policy determination, the approval of long-term contracts and transactions, the appointment or dismissal of personnel, and other matters that go beyond acts of mere supervision or administration, of which, by their nature, are essentially within the authority of the Secretary of Justice."
Co was replaced following last Friday's grenade blast inside the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) that left 6 inmates injured. The incident is being investigated by the NBI and the Muntinlupa Police.
Reshuffle at NBP
Aside from designating a new BuCor OIC, De Lima also formally relieved officials and officers of the NBP due to Friday's grenade blast.
OIC's have been designated for the vacant posts by virtue of Dept Order No. 982 dated Nov. 20.
NBP Chief Superintendent Ramon Reyes is relieved of his duties and replaced by OIC Chief Supt. Guillermo B. Ayala, Superintendent of the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF).
PIS Josie B. Bayawa of the BuCor Legal Office is now the OIC-Superintendent of the NBP Maximum Security Compound, replacing Roberto Rabo.
PIS Celso S. Bravo, NBP Asst. Superintendent is now the OIC-Superintendent of the Medium Security Compound, replacing Dante Cruz.
PSOI Alfredo A. Devaras of the BuCor Reservation Support Service is now OIC-Superintendent of the Minimum Security Compound, replacing Gerardo Aro.
PSOI Roberto A. Veneracion is now the OIC-Chief Overseer of the NBP Maximum Security Compound, replacing Francisco Satorre.
PIS Fajardo D. Lansangan is the OIC-Commander of the Guards of the NBP Maximum Security Compound, replacing PSOI Robert Mandap.
PGI Robert S. Jarabe is the new OIC-Commander of the Guards of the NBP Medium Security Compound, replacing PSOI Robert Veneracion.
PGI Sandy C. Marquez is the new OIC-Commander of the Guards of the NBP Minimum Security Compound, replacing PG3 Artemio M. Martin.
PGI Lucio C. Guevarra is the OIC-Commander of the Guards of the NBP Reception and Diagnostic Center, replacing PG3 Ramon Mandap.
Supt. Dante D. Cruz, the Superintendent of the NBP Medium Security Compound, is now the OIC-Superintendent of the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, replacing Supt. Guillermo B. Ayala.
PSOI Roberto O. Mandap, the Commander of the Guards of the NBP Maximum Security Compound, is now the OIC-Chief of the BuCor Reservation Support Service, replacing PSOI Alfredo Devaras.
Supt. Antonio Cruz, currently the Acting Chief of the Administration Division of the BuCor, was designated OIC of the BuCor Office of the Asst. Director for Prisons and Security Operations.
Dr. Gloria A. Garcia (Medical Officer IV), currently Chief of Clinics, is now the OIC-Chief, NBP Hospital and Medical and Dental Division, replacing Dr. Ernesto L. Tamayo.