BuCor OIC in hot water over NBI biometrics system

Posted at 12/23/2012 4:28 PM | Updated as of 12/24/2012 1:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has been criminally charged before the Office of the Ombudsman for supposedly not paying contractual obligations in connection with the biometrics clearance system of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

BuCor OIC Rafael Marcos Ragos, also the NBI deputy director for comptrollership, was accused of deliberately withholding payment of at least P14 million (net of withholding taxes) for the services rendered by Realtime Data Management Services Inc. (RDMSI) to NBI from July to September this year.

The firm, via vice president for external affairs Atty. Orlando Dizon, filed charges versus Ragos for violations of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), Republic Act No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards) and Republic Act No. 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act) last December 13.

The firm also sought a preventive suspension and Ragos' subsequent dismissal from service.

“Respondent Ragos calculatingly used his office as the current Deputy Director for the NBI for Comptroller Services for his personal interest and to discriminate RDMSI and with utter disregard of the requirement of highest degree of professionalism when he made the unjustified refusal to release the payments of the billings of RDMSI,” the firm claimed.

No less than Justice Sec. Leila de Lima and NBI director Nonnatus Rojas already directed Ragos to comply, it added.

“On 03 December 2012, despite full compliance of RDMSI of all its deliverables and again totally disregarding the above-mentioned Memorandum issued by NBI director Rojas and the earlier Memorandum from Secretary of the DOJ, without any valid cause and blinded by his motive to delay the release of payments of billings of RDMSI, respondent Ragos sent a Memorandum to NBI director Rojas in the guise of raising several issues pertaining to the contract of RDMSI and NBI with the end view of further delaying the payment…,” the complaint read.

De Lima appointed Ragos last month to temporarily head the BuCor in place of Parole and Probation Administrator Manuel Co following the grenade explosion that rocked the maximum security compound of New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

De Lima said Ragos has “the fire, toughness and single-mindedness of character to immediately install drastic buy effective changes to address the major problems in the BuCor, such as smuggling and trade in illegal drugs and other contrabands.”