Philippine legal chief in Senate probe shot dead in front of daughter’s school

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Philippine Bureau of Corrections legal chief Fredric Santos during the Senate probe into anomalies surrounding the Good Conduct Time Allowance law's implementation. Image: Angie de Silva/Rappler/File photo

By Rambo Talabong in Manila

The top lawyer of the Philippine Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) who was a controversial witness in Senate hearings on the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) controversy has been shot dead.

According to the police report, lawyer Fredric Santos was gunned down yesterday afternoon by two unidentified suspects in front of his daughter’s school in Muntinlupa City, as he was about to pick her up.

Santos suffered gunshot wounds to the head and was declared dead on the spot by the Muntinlupa City rescue team, police said.

READ MORE: Timeline – The GCTA law and the controversy it has stirred

Santos was the legal division chief of the BuCor who was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman and once detained by the Senate in September 2019 over controversies in the GCTA law’s implementation.

Santos’ office is not included in the process of screening for GCTA grants. But he was grilled by the Senate blue ribbon committee on his role in providing legal opinion on whether the BuCor chief needs the Justice Secretary’s approval to release inmates sentenced to reclusion perpetua.

At the Senate, Santos said he had told then-BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon of the rule requiring the justice secretary’s approval for releases.

But when Faeldon denied this, Santos backtracked and said he could not recall whether it was just relayed to a staff member.

Rambo Talabong is a Rappler journalist. This report was written with a file by Lian Buan.

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