Rolito Go's prison term may be extended - DOJ

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2012 01:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 17 2012 07:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 2) - Murder convict Rolito Go may see his stay in prison extended if it is proven that he staged his alleged abduction inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP), Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III said Thursday.

Baraan, the undersecretary in charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), warned of another case against Go should it be proven that he was not abducted inside the prison in Muntinlupa City. He said Go may suffer the same fate as another NBP inmate, former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste, who made several unauthorized out of prison trips.

"Kung mapapatunayan na siya'y nag-escape, hindi lang nakidnap... then magkakaroon ng kasong evasion of [service of] sentence. Madadagdagan yung kanyang pag-stay sa kulungan," Baraan pointed out.

Leviste, who is serving sentence for the shooting of his friend, Rafael delas Alas, was charged with evasion in the service of sentence for his trips. 

Evasion of service of sentence is punishable by imprisonment of 6 months and one day to 6 years, under the Revised Penal Code.

Asked if this has an effect on Go's pending application for parole and clemency, Baraan said: "It will compromise his application... wala na pag-asa yung parole niya kung ganoon."

Go went missing since Tuesday night; he was unaccounted for during the evening headcount of the minimum security prison. He surfaced Wednesday night, claiming he was released by his abductors in Batangas.

His family told authorities on Wednesday he was kidnapped by still unidentified men, along with nephew, Clemence Yu, who regularly visits him at NBP to attend to his surgical/colostomy wound. Go is suffering from colon cancer.

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima wants a deeper probe into Go's disappearance to determine the veracity of his claims. De Lima also expressed alarm how an inmate could escape the state penitentiary.

"Sabi nga ni ma'am (De Lima) kahapon: only in the Philippines," Baraan said.

"At the very least, it's an issue of negligence [on the part of prison officials]."

He pointed out that whether Go was abducted or he escaped from the facility, there was a clear lapse on the part of prison officials.

Baraan said reports about a so-called syndicate within the NBP, responsible for the kidnapping for ransom of relatives of inmates, will also be looked into.

Go is set for release next year, but the family of his victim, Eldon Maguan, insists he should serve his maximum 30-year sentence, moreso, that he not only escaped prison twice before but also because the Maguans believe Tuesday was another "escape" staged by Go.

Go shot Eldon in 1991 in a traffic altercation.