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‘Bato' warns jail guards

Abuyog, Leyte—Bureau of Corrections Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa warned all BuCor employees not to engage in illegal drug activities under his watch, or else they will face immediate dismissal from service.

“Everybody should be with me. And nobody should not be with me, otherwise, we’re going to have a problem,” Dela Rosa said Friday during the donning and pinning of ranks of 131 corrections, corrections technical, and non-uniformed officers in their promotional ceremony at Leyte Regional Prison here.

Also attending the event were Leyte Schools Division Superintendent Ronelo Al Firmo, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Edgar Tenasas, Abuyog Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya, Army Captain Bard Caesar Mazo, and Leyte PNP provincial director Norberto Tuazon, among other government officials.

In his speech, the tough-talking former Philippine National Police chief reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte appointed him to the prisons bureau “to stop the proliferation of all drug activities inside the facilities of BuCor and to uplift the dignity of the agency.”

“We want to correct the impression that BuCor is not good,” added Dela Rosa, while urging all the correctional officers to be with him in cleaning the agency of its bad reputation. 

“This is now the time that we’ll deliver what is expected of us. This is the right time that we’ll show that the Bureau of Corrections is not an ordinary agency,” Dela Rosa told the promoted and reappointed correctional officers.

The director general also acknowledged the enactment of the Republic Act 10575 or the Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013.

Bureau of Corrections Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa gamely poses for a selfie with the corrections officers during his visit to the Leyte Regional Prison in Abuyog, Leyte. Ronald O. Reyes
Signed into law by then-President Benigno Aquino III, the law calls for the state to “provide for the modernization, professionalization and restructuring of the Bureau of Corrections by upgrading its facilities, increasing the number of its personnel, upgrading the level of qualifications of their personnel, and standardizing their base pay, retirement and other benefits, making it at par with that of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.”

“What do this wearing of new ranks and the new set of uniforms signify? It means the significance of RA 10575, that we’ll be professionals,” Dela Rosa said.

However, he warned the jail officers that along with the rising of the agency’s level of professionalism is also the increase of expectations from the public to them.

According to the BuCor director, the agency is mired in deep controversies because of the wrongdoings of others.

“But now we’ll be leveling up our status to that of PNP and BJMP because of the modernization. Let’s work together and move forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, Leyte regional jail superintendent Geraldo Aro also called on the promoted officers to do their best in the service.

“May this be a constant reminder to us that the promotion we deserve entails sacrifices and competence in the service,” he said.

Corrections Senior Inspector Virgilio Rosauro, the most senior corrections officer at LRP, also expressed gratitude to Dela Rosa for his long-awaited promotion and increase in his salary.

According to Rosauro, who rose from the ranks of prison guard I in 1978, he had a starting salary of P370 before he earned his promotions.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa thanked the different government agencies who gave support to their various rehabilitation programs inside the Abuyog penal colony, particularly the Department of Education in Leyte Division for launching its first senior high school program to the selected inmates. He said they really need such kind of help.

Topics: Bureau of Corrections , Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa , illegal drug , Leyte Regional Prison
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