15 Jul Marine General from Mindanao to Preside Over Bureau of Corrections
A combat veteran from Mindanao, Major General Alexander Balutan is going to replace retired Army General Ricardo Rainier Cruz to become the new head of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), which supervises national prisons such as Muntinlupa’s New Bilibid Prison. He will assume the post this coming August 1, 2016 according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
Balutan, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy in 1983, was remembered for being the one who defied former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was in 2004 when he testified at the Senate about the alleged election fraud during that year where president Gloria Macagapal-Arroyo won. He was then charged in a military court for defying the said Malacañang gag order. However, his military career was then resurrected under the administration of Aquino.
In a past interview with Rappler, Aguirre said that his priority under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration is to cleanse and reorganize Bucor, the NBP in particular. This is due to the continuing buzz regarding issues of corruption, drug trade and violence in BuCor and the NBP.
“Because of what’s happening within BuCor, I think this will be the first mission which we’ll accomplish,” said Aguirre and that he plans to eliminate drug trading in prisons especially in Muntinlupa where 75% of drug transactions are being cooked by detained Chinese drug lords at most.