MANILA - Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Tuesday dared his critics to shoot him if they could prove that he was corrupt as a Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief.
Dela Rosa, who served as BuCor chief from April to October 2018, earlier told ABS-CBN News Channel that he was willing to be slapped if he was really involved in corrupt practices.
“Alam n’yo ‘di lang sampal, kahit barilin niyo ako kapag napatunayan niyo na ako’y naging corrupt sa pagiging chief ng BuCor. Sampal mababaw lang yun, barilin nyo ako," said Dela Rosa in a subsequent interview with reporters.
(Not just slap; you can even shoot me if it is proven that I was a corrupt BuCor chief.)
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año agreed that Dela Rosa should be investigated over the release of heinous crimes convicts during his stint as BuCor chief.
Dela Rosa earlier admitted that he signed the release orders of around 120 heinous crimes convicts under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law which is now under scrutiny following revelations it was being sold to inmates.
But Dela Rosa said the BuCor released the inmates based on the law’s implementing rules and regulations.
The IRR was heavily criticized by senators as it did not fully follow the law which states that recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes should not benefit from the GCTA system.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the law had various and conflicting interpretations.
Dela Rosa’s successor at BuCor, Nicanor Faeldon, came under fire after approving the release of convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez on account of good conduct. He canceled the release order following public outrage.
Some 2,000 heinous crime convicts have been released through the GCTA law since 2014, BuCor data showed. President Rodrigo Duterte on Sept. 4 ordered them to surrender in 15 days.