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Aquino summons Bureau of Corrections chief over Leviste’s unauthorized trip

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday summoned Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Ernesto Diokno to Malacañang following the arrest of convict and former Batangas Governor Jose Antonio Leviste in Makati City.

According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Mr. Aquino expressed his concern after learning that Leviste was caught outside the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City where he was serving a jail term for killing his long-time aide and friend Rafael de las Alas.

“He (Diokno) was summoned by the President. He is now in Malacañang … because the President demanded an explanation from him,” De Lima said in a news briefing.

De Lima said she would create a fact-finding committee to conduct a marathon investigation into how Leviste was able to leave his NBP cell without a pass.

“I want them to start on Monday and finish the summary report on Wednesday. On the basis of the report, we will recommend if Diokno will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings,” De Lima.

De Lima said that since Diokno was a presidential appointee, the Office of the President may issue its own disciplinary actions on him.

De Lima said she also ordered the immediate relief of Fortunato Justo, Leviste’s custodial guard.


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