Are you into drugs? Lacson asks BuCor legal division chief

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2019 02:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 09 2019 10:42 PM

MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Monday said the legal division chief of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) might be into drugs.

Lacson said during a Senate hearing on Monday that he received reports that Atty. Fredric Anthony Santos used to hold drug sessions with Chinese drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison’s Building 14, where high-profile inmates are detained.

“Baka makakuha kami ng ebidensiya at maipakita ko, baka lying ka naman. I almost have it, I’m telling you,” Lacson said.

Santos denied that he was into illegal drugs.

Lacson and other senators also grilled Santos’ participation in the release of heinous crime convicts through the controversial good conduct time allowance (GCTA).

Senate President Vicente Sotto and Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the powerful Blue Ribbon Committee, quizzed Santos why the BuCor allowed the heinous crime convicts to walk free without seeking the approval of the Department of Justice, the department overseeing the BuCor.

Sacked BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon said he was not aware of a DOJ order requiring the BuCor to seek the department’s approval for the release of prisoners whose sentences have expired.

The Senate hearing’s main focus is on the alleged abuses in the good conduct time allowance system, which allows prisoners to walk free ahead of the end of their respective sentences.

A 2013 law expanding the GCTA for prisoners recently came under scrutiny following reports that it could benefit Antonio Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna convicted in 1990's rape-murder case that was among the most followed in the country.

The Senate inquiry has since went on to tackle various anomalies allegedly involving BuCor officials.

Sotto and Lacson earlier said witnesses have also surfaced to testify that hospital passes and several other prison benefits were being sold at the NBP.

Sotto said some BuCor officials and personnel were also involved in the so-called “tanim-kaso” scheme at the national penitentiary where inmates due for release are asked to pay in exchange for the dismissal of fabricated charges.