By Aaron Recuenco
Senator Ronald dela Rosa tagged on Thursday the convicted drug lords at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) as the ones responsible for the death of the suspended top lawyer of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
In a press briefing at Camp Crame where he was the guest of honor and speaker for the founding anniversary of the Maritime Group, Dela Rosa said convicted drug lords were also behind all the assassinations of BuCor employees and officials in the past.
“I am not preempting the investigation, but most likely, based on my experience, those who ordered the killing of our people in BuCor are drug lords inside (NBP),” Dela Rosa said.
The senator said he pities lawyer Fredric Santos when he found out that he was killed in front of his daughter’s school in Muntinlupa on Wednesday afternoon.
Santos, head of BuCor’s Legal Division, died on the spot due to fatal bullet wounds in the head. The gunmen remain unidentified.
“He is my former man. I pity him because he was already suspended, his life and his career were damaged, yet he was still killed,” said Dela Rosa, who used to be BuCor director general.
Santos was tagged as among those responsible for the anomalous implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA), where wealthy inmates would allegedly bribe BuCor officials to shorten their jail terms.
Almost 2,000 NBP inmates, most of them convicted of heinous crimes, were freed under GCTA.
The Office of the Ombudsman suspended Santos and several others for six months.
In tagging the convicted drug lords as being behind Santos’ death, Dela Rosa said the usual reason why they would order a hit on prison officials and employees is because the drug lords’ requests for special treatment inside NBP would be declined.
“They have the money and they can buy your life anytime,” Dela Rosa said.
This is the reason, according to Dela Rosa, why he has been advocating the restoration of the death penalty for heinous crimes that include illegal drugs trade.