Secretary De Lima Orders Probe into Custody Arrangements over Slain Sablayan Inmate

19 June 2013
In connection with the killing last 14 June 2013 of RONALD HO, an inmate in the Sablayan Prison 'and Penal Farm, Secretary LEILA M. DE LIMA has directed Bureau of  Corrections (BuCor) Director FRANKLIN B. BUCAYU to investigate, not just the death of Ho, but also why Ho was, in the first place, allegedly outside the penal facilities at the
time of the incident.
This directive comes in the wake of reports and information received by the Justice Secretary that, at the time of his death, Ho was near the marketplace in Sablayan town without prison escorts, and that he has allegedly been regularly allowed to take temporary furloughs outside the prison.
Ho is a drug convict, who is known to have continued conducting illegal operations even while in prison. It is precisely for these reasons, particularly his ties to illegal activities in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), hat he was transferred by the BuCor to the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro. Apparently, however, based on reports that have come in since the shooting incident that resulted in his death, he may have continued receiving special treatment and conducting operations from said penal facility. 
Secretary De Lima  previously directed BuCor Director Bucayu to conduct a speedy and thorough investigation into the incident, but she has emphasized that there is also  a need to probe the circumstances of Ho's incarceration, to determine who, if any, may be held accountable for any lapse that may have made the killing possible in the first place.
Director Bucayu has since ordered the preventive suspension of Superintendent Francisco Abulanes, Officer-in-Charge of the Sablayan penal facility, and its central prison compound head, SOI Edison Ablao, pending a thorough probe into the incident.

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