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3 BuCor officials surrender to Muntinlupa judge

THREE officials of the Bureau of Corrections, including its armory chief, yesterday surrendered to the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court in connection with direct bribery charges lodged against them.

Chief Insp. Alex Hizola, chief of the BuCor Armory; Corrections Officer 1 Arnel Acejo Janero, and Corrections Officer 2 Henry Escrupolo surrendered to Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 204 Presiding Judge Joseph Alcantara and posted bail amounting to P60,000 for their temporary liberty.

Alcantara had issued warrants for their arrest for direct bribery filed by the agency after they were nabbed last month for demanding money in exchange for the expedited release of firearms to corrections officers.

First to fall in the entrapment operation last September 22 was Janero, who was caught red-handed receiving P6,500 from Corrections Officer 1 Marvin Asoy in exchange for the issuance of short firearms from the BuCor’s armory.

During interrogation, Janero told BuCor officials he would turn over the money to Escrupolo at the New Bilibid Prison Escorting Unit, prompting another entrapment operation.

Escrupolo was arrested in his office while Jamero was handing him the bribe money. Found on his phone were messages exchanged with Hizola regarding the issuance of firearms.

BuCor Director General Gregorio Catapang Jr. said Escrupolo’s phone revealed messages with Hizola regarding the issuance of firearms.

“This should serve as an example and strong warning to all Bucor personnel who will not heed our call for reforms. We will not tolerate any wrongdoings in the agency and we will continue our relentless drive to weed the agency of undesirables,” Catapang said.