POLITIKO | NEWS & OPINION

Kaya binakuran Bilibid? BuCor chief Bantag tagged in ‘billion peso’ biz deal

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag could soon be on his way out after top government officials got wind of his alleged billion-peso deal with a real estate company involving the sprawling New Bilibid Prison (NBP) reservation.

By Nancy Carvajal

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag could soon be on his way out after top government officials got wind of his alleged billion-peso deal with a real estate company involving the sprawling New Bilibid Prison (NBP) reservation.

Sources told Politiko that the contract was the true reason why BuCor constructed a wall along the NBP reservation, which incurred the ire of residents in nearby communities.

A source said Bantag’s supposed contract with the real estate firm was worth “billions of pesos” but declined to give more details.

Another source said the deal was halted after controversy over the wall reached Bantag’s superiors, including Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

“The construction of the wall also stopped after Bantag met with Guevarra,” a source told Politiko. “He could soon be on the way out because of dealing with a private company.”

As of posting time, Bantag has yet to reply to questions sent by Politiko about his supposed deal with the real estate firm.

Available records showed that the NBP reservation previously covered 551 hectares. Located within the sprawling property are the prisons, the BuCor headquarters and the barracks of jail security.

Decades ago, 104 hectares of the reservation was converted into a housing project for Department of Justice employees. They were named Katarungan Village 1 and 2.

In November last year, the Muntinlupa City Council had declared Bantag as persona non grata over the wall’s construction despite protest from residents.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said BuCor didn’t seek permission before putting up the wall.

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