Muntinlupa Mayor Fresnedi reiterates BuCor’s lack of coordination on wall construction along Insular Road, House Committee on Justice to prepare final report

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi reiterated the lack of coordination from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) regarding the construction of a wall along Insular Road in Bilibid during the conclusion of the hearings conducted by the House Committee on Justice last July 14.

“There was never a time that BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag coordinated or informed the city government of his intentions to close the road going to Southville 3. I was expecting Usec. Bantag to coordinate so we could also consult this matter with the affected residents and that proper intervention, especially the transportation and other emergency matters, will be implemented,” Fresnedi noted.

The local exec answered Bukidnon 2nd District Rep. Jonathan Keith Flores’ inquiries on whether DG Bantag coordinated with the local government on construction of a wall along Insular Road since his designation as BuCor Director General in 2019.

Flores also pointed during the congressional hearing that there is a need to review the provision on BuCor Modernization Law pertaining to the bureau’s “absolute authority.”

“I think absolute authority only comes when the properties are under the name of BuCor. That is why the provision requires the BuCor to have the titles transferred in their name. It seems that for as long as the title still remains in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, then it would be pre-mature for BuCor to exercise absolute authority over the same. Just like I said, it is still not yet under the name of the BuCor,” Flores said.

Register of Deeds Atty. Silverio Garing testified during the hearing that land titles in the city’s land record repository for NBP Reservation are titled under the name of the Republic of the Philippines and not BuCor.

Further, Department of Public Works and Highways district engineer Elpidio Trinidad confirmed that the Insular Road is a National Road as per inventory and is owned by the National Government and not BuCor.

Committee chairman and Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso recognized the lack of coordination and proper consultation of the BuCor to have affected the livelihood of the residents and their access to public transportation, especially barangay and city health services during this national public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Clearly, we will not be in this predicament and this inquiry would not have taken place if the BuCor have simply taken simple, logical, and humanitarian steps on public consultation before taking such drastic action that obviously would affect thousands of citizens in the community,” Veloso said in his opening remarks during the committee hearing.

Jap Landingin, president of NHA Southville3 Homeowners Association, told the committee that since the road closure, many community members have lost their jobs and were deprived of medical assistance. Landingin added that at least ten (10) residents of Southville 3 have died due to COVID-19.

Congressman Ruffy Biazon, who raised the issue in Congress for a committee hearing in aid of legislation, said the inquiry has been terminated since enough information has been gathered to prepare the committee report.

“Based on the discussions in the hearing and the statements of the committee chairman, it appears that the actions of the BuCor in closing Insular Road was not only baseless, it was against the law. I call on the Bucor to heed the findings of the committee and tear down the wall constructed on a national road,” Biazon said.

Last March, the City Government condemned BuCor’s action to construct a concrete wall along Insular Road. Southville 3 is a socialized housing project of the National Housing Authority located within NBP with 8,000 families or at least 40,000 residents.

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The above information was sourced from the official press release of the Muntinlupa PIO. Some parts were changed for this website.

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House committee discussed road closure in Bilibid, Mayor Fresnedi denied claim of coordination from BuCor

Members of the House Committee on Justice and other local officials attended a congressional inquiry on Wednesday to settle the issue of the construction of a wall by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) along Insular Road in New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) Reservation.

Muntinlupa officials, led by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, presented to the committee the lack of coordination from BuCor regarding the construction of the wall along Insular Road which gives residents of NHA, Southville 3 access to and from the city proper. He also noted that the construction of the wall was unlawful and there has been an excessive use of authority from BuCor.

BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag insisted that they have coordinated with the LGU but Mayor Fresnedi vehemently refuted his claim.

“Yung sinasabi ni Director Bantag na coordination, they notified the local government of the closure of Insular Road, wala pong katotohanan ‘yun. I vehemently deny, as far as the blocking of the road is concerned, that there wasn’t any communication on this matter,” Fresnedi said.

Brgy. Poblacion capt. Allen Ampaya added that while they have received a letter from BuCor on March 18, there was no mention on the construction of a permanent wall and only informed the barangay that paths leading to the affected communities wouldn’t be accessible temporarily to all pedestrians and motorists from March 20-21. BuCor carried out the construction on March 20.

Jap Landingan, president of Southville 3 group, said that many from their community have lost their jobs since the road closure and appealed to the committee to call on BuCor for the opening of the access road.

Committee on Justice chairman, and former Court of Appeals justice, Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso III inquired about the ownership of the road as basis for the resolution of the issue.

DPWH NCR Las Piñas Muntinlupa District Engr. Elpidio Trinidad noted that the Insular Road in Bilibid was registered as a National Road. Cong. Veloso commented that BuCor has no ownership on the road and that the construction of the wall was against the law.

“Let it be a warning, kapag hinarangan niyo pa ‘yan, hindi niyo giniba ‘yan, pwede kayong kasuhan sa Ombudsman, aakyat ‘yan sa Sandiganbayan for violation of Section 3, Paragraph E of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” Veloso said.

The Committee on Justice is set to review the provisions of the BuCor Modernization Law and scrutinize the bureau’s “absolute authority” over the NBP Reservation.

Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon said he is glad that the Chair of the Committee on Justice had the same view that what the BuCor did in constructing a wall to block Insular Road was against the law.

“His conclusion is aligned with ours, and the other resource persons confirmed the non-coordination by the BuCor. I call on Director Bantag to do what is right and tear down that wall,” Biazon noted.

Last March, the City Government has condemned BuCor’s action to construct a concrete wall along Insular Road. Southville 3 is a socialized housing project of the National Housing Authority located within NBP with 8,000 families or at least 40,000 residents.

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The above information was sourced from the official press release of the Muntinlupa PIO.

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Muntinlupa City Council condemns closure of another road in NBP Reservation

The City Council of Muntinlupa passed yesterday a resolution strongly condemning the closure of another road inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) Reservation in Muntinlupa City and called on Congress to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation to look into the legality and validity of such closure and other policies that directly affect the welfare of the people of Muntinlupa.

Majority Floor Leader Coun. Raul Corro said the city council passed the resolution in its regular session. In his privilege speech, Corro noted that BuCor appears to have misinterpreted the Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013 or the BuCor Modernization Law as basis for the recent road closure.

“The Bucor Law is not superior to the Constitution, the new local government code, the Urban Development and Housing Act and other existing laws,” he said. “When the general welfare of our constituents is directly affected, we cannot remain silent or condone such clear violations of our existing laws.”

The councilor said that the access road has been serving the residents of Type B residents for many decades. He noted that the City Government will continue to express its collective sentiment against BuCor’s violations to protect the general welfare of city residents directly affected by the policies implemented by the BuCor.

“Bucor has the propensity to implement policies affecting the welfare of our constituents without prior consultation and coordination with the city government as mandated by existing laws, ” Corro said.

He cited two examples of these policies implemented by Bucor without prior consultation. One is the transfer of Covid-19 positive inmates from its penal facility in Mandaluyong City to NBP Reservation and another is the eviction and demolition of homeless and underprivileged citizens without securing compliance certificate from the Local Housing Board as mandated by the Urban Development and Housing Act and local ordinances.

Under the local resolution, the City Government will also seek assistance from Muntinlupa Congressman Ruffy Biazon for the conduct of a congressional inquiry in aid of legislation to look into the legality and validity of such closure.

Cong. Biazon earlier criticized BuCor for building the wall without any coordination with the city government. He said that the recent road closure is a form of disrespect not only to the officials of Muntinlupa but to the Secretary of Justice who is still currently trying to resolve the issue of the first road closure known as Insular Road.

Last March, the City Government has also condemned BuCor’s action to construct a concrete wall along Insular Road, an access road of Southville 3 residents to the city proper. Southville 3 is a socialized housing project of the National Housing Authority located within NBP with 8,000 families or at least 40,000 residents.

The Muntinlupa City Council and Sangguniang Barangay of Brgy. Poblacion passed a resolution requesting the Department of Justice to order BuCor to reopen the road going to and from Southville 3 and requesting the conduct an investigation in aid of legislation.

In another development, the City Council also passed a resolution urging BuCor to immediately cease and desist the eviction and demolition of informal settlers within the NBP Reservation. The City Government said BuCor should first secure a compliance certificate from the Local Housing Board in accordance with RA 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 prior the demolition. Under the local resolution, BuCor is enjoined to secure a permit from Muntinlupa Local Housing Board in compliance with RA 7279 and Muntinlupa City Ordinance 17-091.

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The above details were sourced from an official press release issued by the Muntinlupa PIO.

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Muntinlupa City Council approves resolution urging BuCor to secure LGU permit prior to eviction and demolition of residents within NBP

The City Council of Muntinlupa passed an urgent resolution in its regular session yesterday formally urging the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to immediately cease and desist the eviction and demolition of informal settlers within the NBP Reservation and should first secure a compliance certificate from the Local Housing Board in accordance with existing national and local laws as well as Executive Orders and DILG issuances on the matter.

Members of the Muntinlupa City Council approves a resolution urging BuCor to secure proper certification of compliance and ensure adherence with Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 prior to eviction and demolition of residents within NBP.

Under the local resolution, BuCor is enjoined to secure a permit from Muntinlupa Local Housing Board in compliance with RA 7279 and Muntinlupa City Ordinance 17-091.

While the City Government recognizes the mandate of BuCor in improving safety and security measures in its security camps, the Muntinlupa City Council emphasizes the need for strict compliance to national and local laws and issuances related to the conduct of evictions and demolitions.

Section 3 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7279 mandates government agencies authorized to demolish to secure a certification from the LGU or concerned agency that the area is the site of an infrastructure project with available funding which shall commence within sixty (60) days after clearing of the said area prior to any conduct of demolition.

BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag has ordered the eviction and demolition of residents within the 50 meter-radius form the fence of security camps.

In a letter addressed to Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi dated May 4, 2021, DG Bantag informed the local government of BuCor’s initiative to clear all structures near prison facilities and added that the project aims to “ensure that contrabands will not be thrown inside the Security Camps.”

He added that the project is in accordance with the twin mandate of the BuCor on Safekeeping and Reformation and as a preventive measure to mitigate COVID-19 transmission.

Last March, the City Government has called out another BuCor’s move to construct a concrete wall on the access road of Southville 3 residents to the city proper.

The Muntinlupa City Council passed a resolution requesting the Department of Justice to order BuCor to reopen the road going to and from National Housing Authority, Southville 3 and requesting Congress of the Philippines, thru Cong. Rozzano Rufino Biazon, to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation.

The Sangguniang Barangay of Brgy. Poblacion has also condemned BuCor’s wall installation in Bilibid Road. Southville 3 is a socialized housing project of the National Housing Authority located within NBP with 8,000 families or at least 40,000 residents.

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The above details were from the official press release issued by the Muntinlupa Public Information Office. Some parts were edited for this website.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Muntinlupa City Council and Brgy. Poblacion approve resolutions vs closing of Bilibid road to NHA

Following the construction of a wall in Bilibid Road going to Southville 3 by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), the Muntinlupa City Council and Barangay Poblacion passed separate resolutions condemning the action and requesting the immediate opening of the access road.

Majority Floor Leader Coun. Raul Corro said the city council have passed resolutions on yesterday requesting the Department of Justice (DOJ) to order BuCor to reopen the road going to and from NHA, Southville 3 and requesting Congress of the Philippines, thru Cong. Rozzano Rufino Biazon, to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation.

In a recent Facebook post, Coun. Corro reiterated that BuCor’s action of preventing residents from passing through the NBP to go to other areas in Muntinlupa is illegal.

“Maliwanag na labag ito sa karapatang pantao ng mga residente ng Southville 3 at ginawa ito na walang ‘due process of law’ at labag sa kanilang ‘equal protection of the law’ na ginagarantiya ng ating Saligang Batas,” Corro noted.

While the Sangguniang Barangay of Brgy. Poblacion has also conducted a special session to approve a resolution condemning BuCor’s wall installation on Bilibid Road. Southville 3 is a socialized housing project of the National Housing Authority located within the National Bilibid Prisons Reservation with 8,000 families or at least 40,000 residents.

On March 20, Congressman Ruffy Biazon visited the area and talked to BuCor officials for the removal of the wall. Biazon said the wall is an obstruction to free passage in public roads and violates Article 694 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi also sent a letter to BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag urging him to remove the wall. Fresnedi appealed to Bantag to use his “sense of compassion and soundness of reason in reconsidering your decision to what appears to us as a permanent closure of the portion of road that connects the said community to the rest of Muntinlupa.”

The local exec said it would have been better if BuCor have coordinated with the City Government and the affected residents of its plans to close the road so that all parties would come up with a viable solution to the issues on the subject matter.

Muntinlupa Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said BuCor did not inform the City Government of its plans in building a wall in the area.  She added that BuCor only sent a letter on March 18 to Poblacion Bgy. Captain Allen Ampaya informing him “that paths leading to the NHA, South Ville 3 and the route in front of Tower 8 going to the Minimum Security Compound will not be accessible to all pedestrians and motorists starting from March 20, 2021 (Saturday) at about 5:00 AM until further notice.”

Alternative route for Southville 3 residents going to Poblacion is through Biazon Road, passing through Daang Hari Road in Bacoor, Cavite and Las Pinas, Bgy. Ayala Alabang, Bgy. Alabang, Bgy, Bayanan and Bgy. Putatan.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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