Lawyer Fredric Santos, the former legal division chief of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), was gunned down this afternoon in the village of Poblacion in Muntinlupa by two unidentified assailants.
Santos was about to fetch his daughter from school when the gunmen approached his Toyota Hilux pickup at about 2pm and shot him dead, CNN Philippines reports. The gunmen immediately fled the crime scene and are currently being hunted by the authorities.
Santos sustained gunshot wounds to the head and died on the spot, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.
Santos became publicly known after he was called to testify in a Senate investigation in September that looked into allegations that the BuCor had been engaged in a “pay for freedom” scheme. The allegations surfaced when it was announced that former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, a convicted rapist and murderer, was about to be freed due to Republic Act No. 10592, which cut down prisoners’ terms for good behavior while incarcerated. However, rumors swirled that some big-time prisoners, such as Sanchez, unfairly benefited from the law because they bribed BuCor officials. Sanchez’s release was nixed due to the controversy.
During the Senate hearings, Santos was cited in contempt by lawmakers because he was evasive in his answers. It was during the hearings when he was also accused by Senator Panfilo Lacson of using drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, an allegation that Santos denied.
According to Senate President Vicente Sotto, Santos was prepared to “tell-all” about the anomalies going on at the BuCor, but the lawyer changed his mind at the last minute.
In September, Santos was suspended without pay by the Ombudsman for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct “prejudicial to the best interest of the service,” CNN Philippines reports. Ombudsman Samuel Martires said in his decision that Santos, along with other colleagues, “allowed the questionable [early] release of prison convicts in violation of the provisions of Republic Act No. 10592.”
This article, Former corrections officer shot dead while waiting for daughter outside school, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!