THE Food First Information and Action Network-Philippines (FIAN-Philippines) has urged that the office of the Ombudsman should push for the conduct of investigation and prosecution of officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) who may be involved in the alleged squandering of government funds. “We call on the Ombudsman to pursue its investigation and charge those responsible for diverting state funds to their pockets, especially money allocated for food and other means of prisoners’ subsistence,” its statement said.
Jail Inspector Angelina Lumba Bautista of the BJMP assigned at Valenzuela City has executed a complaint-affidavit, accusing BJMP officials of plunder. For this “We praise Bautista for exposing this scheme to plunder the nation’s coffers at the expense of the welfare of inmates in the country’s prison system at great personal risk. We urge state authorities to provide her protection,” the statement said.
Bautista contacted this writer and exclusively furnished with her three-page complaint subscribed on March 20, 2015 at Quezon City before Atty. Dina Camba, Graft Investigator and Prosecution Officer. She said in exclusive interview that the BJMP Bohol could be involved in the alleged misuse of funds since the provincial jail here used to be run by the provincial government is now operated/managed by the BJMP.
But she said she’s still gathering documents regarding how BJMP funds were used for the running of the provincial jail here. “I am filing this affidavit-complaint for the crime of plunder or the violation of Republic Act No. 7080, committed, and/or presently committed by senior BJMP officers/officials.”
Named respondents include J/Director Diony Dacanay Mamaril, chief BJMP; J/Chief Superintendent Alfredo Daupan Soliba, chief, directorate for comptrollership; Chief Budget officer Mila Comia; J/SSupt Arnulfo Obias, former reginal director for BJMPR3; J/SINSP Jaime Bumactao, former disbursing officer for BJMPR3; J/Insp Lorna Capili, budget officer of BJMPR3; and J/Insp Gilbert Marpuri, Jr., accountant of BJMPR3.
Also charged with the said crime include all designated regional directors, all designated disbursing officers and budget officers of BJMPR3 from August 2010 to August 2013, she said. She alleged that the named BJMP officials “in connivance with each other, amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten wealth through a combination of series of overt or criminal acts through misappropriation, conversion, misuse of pblic funds or raids on the public treasury. The aggregate amount or total value of the ill-gotten wealth amassed, accumulated or acquired by the afore-mentioned BJMP officers/officials is at least PhP50,000,000.”
She said in her sworn statement that BJMP has separately entered into Memoraudum of Agreements (MOA) with the provinces of Bohol, Ilo-ilo, Albay and Quezon. Proper investigation of the BJMP officials should be conducted, she said, saying the nature and the manner of the crime allegedly committed by the said officials “would warrant the preventive suspension of the afore-mentioned BJMP officers/officials.”
The move (suspension) “will prevent any cover-up, destruction of reports/documents and/or the harassment or silencing of well-meaning BJMP officers and employees who are willing to join me in exposing the criminal acts of said BJMP officials,” she said.
Bautista said that Bohol BJMP could be involved in the alleged misuse of funds since the provincial jail here is now operated/managed by the BJMP under a certain contract.
DYTR tried but failed last night to contact Bohol District Jail warden Jose Rusylvi Abueva for comment.
FIAN-Philipines said it is alarmed over the allegations that prisoners’ subsistence allowance have been plundered by senior jail officials.
It added, “The assaults on the right to adequate food doesn’t only come in the form of poverty that results in hunger among many Filipinos but also in the misuse, and more seriously the plunder, of the people’s money appropriated for food.”
Aurea G. Miclat-Teves, President, FIAN Philippines and Convenor, National Food Coalition, is reference officer of the said group, the statement showed. (rvo)