THE Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights will now focus its investigation on how the earlier reported missing person deprived of liberty (PDL) was actually able to escape the premises of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, panel chair Senator Francis ‘TOL’ N. Tolentino said on Friday.
Tolentino made the remarks after authorities in Rizal Province were able to arrest 25-year-old Michael Cataroja, an inmate inside the NBP’s Maximum Security Compound, more than a month after the said PDL was reported missing by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
“Matutuon ngayon ang hearing ng Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights kung paano nakatakas si PDL Michael Cataroja at kung ano ang naging kapabayaan ng BuCor sa hearing sa Martes, Agosto 22,” said Tolentino.
Cataroja, who is serving a prison term from 12 to 20 years–due to proven violations of Presidential Decree No. 612 or the Anti-Fencing Act Law–was first reported missing inside the Maximum Security Compound on July 15 before he was arrested on Thursday, August 17.
Tolentino’s panel earlier last week initiated a motu proprio inquiry following the reported alleged discovery of a mass grave besides a septic tank inside the national penitentiary after some ‘bone fragments’ were unearthed in the said location.
The Senate inquiry led by Tolentino has also unraveled a supposed scheme on how drug syndicates were able to smuggle and repack various illegal drug shipments inside the NBP compound.