By Hannah Torregoza
The Senate Committees on Justice and Human rights, on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, and on Finance have released the committee report on the bill that seeks to establish a separate prison facility for those convicted of heinous crimes.
Fifteen senators have already signed Committee Report No. 5 for Senate Bill No. 1055, which is a consolidated version of the various bills that sought a separate detention facility for those convicted of high-level drug trafficking and other heinous crimes.
Senators who pursued the measure include Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Richard Gordon, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.
According to Sotto, the committee report would be part of the partial report of the Senate panel on its investigation into the controversy surrounding the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
The report forms part of the Senate’s recommendation to establish “regional rehabilitation centers and regional penitentiaries.”
The committee report was released ahead of the sixth hearing of the Justice and Human Rights committee into the GCTA issue and the anomalies hounding the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
President Duterte had earlier dismissed Nicanor Faeldon as BuCor chief after he approved the memorandum recommending the release of heinous crime convicts who were eligible for an early release due to good conduct.
The memorandum included former Calauan Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez who was convicted for the rape-slay of University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez in 1993. The plan was canceled following the public outcry.
Duterte has appointed Gerald Bantag, a former jail warden of the Parañaque and Manila City jails, as the new BuCor chief.
Duterte said he chose Bantag due to his honesty and competency although the latter is facing 10 counts of murder.