Gabriel Chaglag, officer-in-charge director general for reformation and spokesperson of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor)

Former Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm (SPPF) chief superintendent Raul Levita took over the leadership of the Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) from chief senior superintendent Geraldo Aro in a closed-door change of command ceremony held amidst a brawling incident controversy between a medical chief and a newly-transferred jail officer.

Gabriel Chaclag, officer-in-charge director general for reformation and spokesperson of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), said Aro will be transferred to the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

Asked if Aro’s transfer was due to controversies surrounding the ICF (formerly Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm) recently, Chaclag said it is a normal process in the corrections bureau and if there are issues to find answers to, “they are best settled internally”.

“In every organization like BuCor, change of leadership is a natural order of things. Because we want to infuse changes, new blood into the organization and it so happens, that it is the time for Iwahig Penal Prison to have new leadership,” he said.

He said Aro’s expertise in administration will be used in the NBP. Other than this, Chaclag did not give any more details.

“We leave it to the new superintendent, he has new ideas, he has a lot of ideas to improve, especially the operations, the physical structures and the administration of sub-colonies also so he is trying to bring in his plans,” Chaclag.

He said Levita has already prepared transformation programs for the ICF. The BuCor, he said, will be looking forward to these changes.

During his speech, Levita said he is honored to be designated as the new superintendent of the ICF, acknowledging that the accomplishments of Aro’s leadership will be specially marked. Aro was his former mentor in the improvement of the prison.

“I am extremely honored to have been designated as the new superintendent of this prison and penal farm. The Iwahig Corrections Facility has a glorious history from its establishment during the American occupation and throughout its history. The ICF is doing its mandate to rehabilitate and save the persons deprived of liberty (PDL),” he said.