Acting jail chief named by Justice Department

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(FILE PHOTO) The appointment comes after the resignation of the Bureau of Corrections' former Director General, Benjamin Delos Santos.

(CNN Philippines, July 17) — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre named an officer-in-charge at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) amid reports of a return of the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary.

BuCor Administrative Division head Rey Raagas assumes the director general's ministerial duties "in order not to disrupt public service," said the Justice Department's order 477, dated July 13 and signed by Aguirre. The department order was released Monday.

The order followed BuCor Director General Benjamin Delos Santos's resignation. In his resignation letter, Delos Santos said his "irrevocable resignation" amid allegations of the resurgence of the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison "has made me irrelevant."

Read more: BuCor Chief resigns amid resurgence of drug trade in NBP

Aguirre also sent a letter to Malacañang recommending recently-appointed Dangerous Drugs Board Chair Dionisio Santiago as new BuCor chief.

DDB-reco.png Justice Secretary Aguirre's letter to the Executive Secretary says Santiago "can very well lead the BuCor".  

Read more: DOJ recommends Dionisio Santiago as BuCor Chief replacement

Santiago, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, was also director of the Bureau of Corrections from 2003 to 2004.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source on July 12, Santiago said Bilibid's top officials should be removed for failing to wipe out the illegal drug trade inside the prison.

Read more: Dangerous Drugs Board Chair: New Bilibid management should be removed

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.