Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (MNS Photo)

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Jan 8 (Mabuhay) – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has dismissed a New Bilibid Prison official for interfering with the Bureau of Corrections’ confiscation of prohibited items inside a “kubol” at the national penitentiary last year.

In a statement, De Lima said there was substantial evidence to conclude that Prison Superintendent Catalino Malinao, superintendent for the NBP Reformation and Administration, was administratively liable.

Apart from his dismissal, Malinao’s retirement benefit has likewise been forfeited, even as he is no longer allowed to be re-employed in government. Malinao, however, is still entitled to his accrued leave credits.

The case stemmed from an inspection conducted by the BuCor Security and Patrol Unit at the makeshift home or kubol of inmate David Allen iside the premises of the Amazing Grace Chapel, Building 11 at the NBP.

During the search, authorities confiscated a laptop, a DVD writer, an external memory, a few cable wires, and a USB flash drive. Uy was not around when the inspection was made.

When Uy arrived, he was accompanied by Malinao, who questioned the SPU search. Malinao then took the eco-bag containing the confiscated items from the search team.

The BuCor Internal Affairs Service conducted a preliminary investigation on the matter and elevated the complaint against Malinao to the DOJ.

Malinao said procedural due process was violated when the BuCor referred the matter to the DOJ.

In its resolution however, the DOJ said both the BuCor director and the DOJ secretary have concurrent jurisdiction over BuCor personnel.

The NBP is supervised and administered by the BuCor.

As to Malinao’s argument that Uy’s rights to due process and privacy were violated, De Lima said: “The conduct of search and seizure operations by the SPU is an official act done in the performance of duty and part of the established mandate of the BuCor.”

De Lima added that such a search operation can be done without prior notice or even without the presence of the inmate.

De Lima also found Malinao guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to best interest of the service after it was found that the confiscated laptop in possession of Uy was government-issued and belonged to Malinao.  (MNS)