THE BUCOR A DAY AFTER
If there is any beating a government agency may have undergone, it was the Bureau of Corrections that received the grandest whipping. Well, to be whipped is actually an understatement. Bucor was whacked!
It was a combination of politics, something personal, a bit crusading and a lot of controversy that made Bucor, what it was, as a staple of primetime news. Accordingly, Bucor is where all drugs were coming from. It was in the seedy corner of the penitentiary where circulation of drugs in the country is being administered. Illegal drugs were manufactured in some dingy tunnels within the prison camp. Worst, imprisoned drug lords were protected by police generals, local government executives and cabinet functionaries. From the highlighted drug matrix, there were networks where narco funds were deposited and gave away a linkage which is explosive and at the same time humiliating. All these, it has been said, were conducted within the confines of Bucor.
And because of the debasement which Bucor got, a number of its security personnel were all shipped to the police academy for refresher courses. Custodial management has been taken over by the Special Forces of the Philippine National Police. Prison administration went back to basic—-no frills, no activities, all penance.
As it has been commanded, prison round the clock activity revolves around mandatory headcounts in between hours within the specific dormitory where the inmates are designated. Visitations are restricted. Prison movements highly regimented. Civilian prison officers are also conscripted in various security related programs. Everything about corrections has been reviewed, amended and revised as far as institutional administration is concerned.
If there is any sector in government that has been affected by the changes brought about by political modifications, it is corrections. And it makes sense. In 2013, a law was passed, RA 10595 otherwise known as the Bureau of Corrections Act. It addressed most of that which ail the system. Since then, the law got snagged and was stranded. One controversy after another took over and one day, Bucor was at the guillotine about to be decapitated. Nobody raised the issue that there is a game changer law about to be applied. Silence virtually ruined the day for corrections.
Everyone with moistened eye on politics has used prison affairs to jumpstart electoral advantage, this at the expense of privacy, that which can be resolved without humiliating the prison community. Thereafter, it becomes not only the whipping boy but the scapegoat of everything that is bad about government service. Truly, Bucor has reached rock bottom as far as integrity is concerned.
But there is still a silver lining. The Bucor Act of 2013 is still a beacon worthy of appreciating. As the old adage goes, if one has reached the limits down below, there is only one option left, natural law says, there is no way but up.