OMBUDSMAN Samuel Martires on Tuesday, September 10, suspended the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) legal chief and two other BuCor executives as the investigation into the anomalies surrounding the good conduct time allowance law continues.
Martires gave out three separate orders that imposed six months of preventive suspensions without pay on BuCor legal chief Fredric Santos, Technical Superintendent Maria Fe Marquez, and Correctional Officer III Joel Nalva.
“This Office finds that the evidence in the form of testimonies of witnesses and public documents showing the anomalous release of prisoners convicted of heinous crimes/offenses, appear to be strong,” Martires said.
It was found that Marquez was the one who signed the release orders for three convicts in the Chiong sisters murder case on August 16 while then-BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon was out of town.
Meanwhile, Santos was grilled by the Senate blue ribbon committee on his role in relaying to Faeldon the information about Department of Justice Order 953, which states that the justice secretary is the final approving authority for the release of inmates sentenced to life imprisonment.
Santos before a Senate inquiry said that he did, however, backtrack when Faeldon denied this.
As reported by Rappler, preventive suspension is the usual first act of the Office of the Ombudsman during an investigation. The eventual acts concern administrative charges which may result in dismissal from the service, and criminal investigation which may result in the filing of charges before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
Martires had also meted out preventive suspensions on 27 other officials, including documents section chief Ramoncito Roque who has been accused of extorting P50,000 from an inmate’s wife in exchange for early release. Roque, for his part, denied the accusation.