MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon said Wednesday he believes the killing of a Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) official who testified in the Senate on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law has something to do with the controversy.
"Most definitely," Gordon told ANC when asked if the killing of Fredric Santos had something to do with the GCTA issue.
Santos, who served as BuCor's legal division chief, was aboard his vehicle in front of his child's school in Barangay Poblacion in Muntinlupa City when he was attacked by two gunmen.
Gordon called on President Rodrigo Duterte to act "immediately" on the killing of Santos.
"I hope the President orders the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to act immediately on the matter because the Bureau of Corrections is under the Department of Justice (DOJ)," the senator said.
The NBI is also under the DOJ.
Santos had testified before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee -- chaired by Gordon -- when the panel looked into BuCor for allowing heinous crime convicts to walk free without seeking the approval of the DOJ.
The slain official was cited in contempt for supposedly lying and being evasive when asked about the alleged anomalies in Bilibid.
"The reason why we put the heat on him is (that) he was the one who said, 'I gave the information on executive order by the Department of Justice No. 953 that nobody can be released without the permission of the Secretary of Justice'," Gordon said.
DOJ Order 953, penned in 2015 by then Justice chief Alfredo Caguioa, mandates that inmates sentenced to life imprisonment should only be released upon the approval of the Justice secretary.
"According to him (Santos), he gave it to (former Bucor) director (Nicanor) Faeldon. But later on, he backtracked. That's what's very strange to me. That's why we put him in contempt for a while, among other things," Gordon said.
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee had recommended the filing of charges against Faeldon and six other officials.
At least three BuCor officials had been killed since 2018. Authorities said their murders may be linked to the release of heinous crime convicts.
--With a report from Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News