I am not a KKK of PNoy - Pangilinan

from an exclusive interview by Korina Sanchez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2011 10:34 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2011 06:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines - New Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief retired Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan is insisting his innocence on plunder allegations leveled at him.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, Pangilinan also unveiled reforms that he plans to implement in the bureau, which came under fire for alleged special privileges granted for "VIP" inmates at the New Bilibid Prison.

Pangilinan, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) batch 1979, replaced Ernesto Diokno, who resigned following irregularities discovered at Bilibid.

Pangilinan said he is keen on studying the root causes of the problems in the nation's penal system.

He said he did not hesitate to accept the post offered by Malacañang. "When I was offered the job, sundalo tayo, susunod lang tayo sa boss," he said.

He denied rumors claiming that he initially asked President Benigno Aquino III to appoint him as head of the Bureau of Customs.

Pangilinan said he doesn't know of any debt of gratitude that Aquino owes to him.

"I am not a KKK [kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan]. Para sa akin ay work. Ang mga akusasyon sa akin ay nasagot ko na sa proper forum," he added.

Pangilinan has been trying to avoid discussing the plunder charge filed against him by military corruption whistleblower George Rabusa.

He told ABS-CBN News that he is innocent of allegations that he accepted P50 million as "pabaon" or takeaway cash from the Arroyo administration when he retired from the service.

"Ako'y innocent until proven guilty," Pangilinan said.

He added that he will serve in the BuCor while the case is being heard.

Pangilinan said he will focus on solving the prisons bureau's problems. "I have to identify 'yung immediate na pwede nating i-solve ngayon, then we will identify the problems na will take matagal na panahon. Ang ating mission is to rehabilitate these people para paglabas nila ay productive na sila."