MANILA - The Metro Manila police said Wednesday it was investigating the possible link between the fatal shooting of 3 officials of the Bureau of Corrections and the release of hundreds of heinous crime convicts for good conduct.
Among the BuCor officials killed by motorcycle-riding assailants is Ruperto Traya Jr., an administrative officer at the prison bureau's document processing division.
A Senate witness last week claimed she met with Traya while negotiating with several BuCor officials for the alleged sale of good conduct time allowance (GCTA) that would release her husband from prison.
"Nitong lumutang nga itong issue sa GCTA at lumabas itong witnesses during the Senate hearing, itong GCTA naging probable motive din dito sa pagkamatay ni Traya," said Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
(When this GCTA issue came up and witnesses appeared at the Senate hearing, the GCTA became a probable motive in the death of Traya.)
Motorcycle-riding assailants also killed BuCor Inspector Rommel Reyes in September 2018 and another officer, Angelita Peralta, just 2 months after.
"Tinitingnan natin kung posible ba na itong mga napatay na kawaning ito e may kaugnayan ito. Pero sa ngayon, wala tayong nakitang lead na ganoon," Eleazar told radio DZMM.
(We are looking at whether or not these slain official have a link. We have yet to find a lead on that.)
Police, he added, have yet to identify any person of interest in the killings.
The implementation of GCTA prompted a Senate inquiry following reports that it could free Antonio Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna convicted in 1995 for the rape-slay of college student Eileen Sarmenta and killing of her companion Allan Gomez.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week ordered heinous crime convicts freed by GCTA to surrender to authorities and fired BuCor director Nicanor Faeldon.
Faeldon earlier told lawmakers he recommended freedom for Sanchez but stopped the latter's release "because I believe he is not entitled" to GCTA benefits.
Four Chinese drug lords and 3 suspects in the 1997 rape-slay of the Chiong sisters, however, were among those freed under Faeldon's term.