Bilibid 'a business' for scalawag officials, says whistleblower

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2019 02:38 PM

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MANILA - The management of the New Bilibid Prisons has become "a business" for scalawag officials, a whistleblower who bared the alleged sale of early release for convicts said Friday.

Yolanda Camelon, one of 3 Senate witnesses, earlier claimed that she paid P50,000 to 3 Bureau of Corrections officials for the early release of her husband, a Bilibid inmate, based on good conduct time allowance (GCTA).

"Sa sarili kong obserbasyon, naging negosyo na ang Bilibid natin," she told reporters.

(In my own observation, our Bilibid has become a business.)

Food given to prisoners, she claimed, is worth below the budget allocated by the state.

"Misua na nga lang, walang lasa iyon... Isang drum ata ang isinabaw sa isang kilong misua. Asin na lang ang aasahan mong magpapalasa, wala pa rin," said Camelon.

(It's just wheat noodles, that's very bland. It's as if one drum of broth was dumped for every kilo of misua. You'd just rely on salt, but still it tastes bland.)

Camelon said other prison visitors also told her that they pay P100 to P200 for guards to smuggle contraband items like cellphones, clothes and chargers to inmates.
 
She said she learned about the alleged "GCTA for sale scheme" from a relative of a prisoner who was released early supposedly after paying P150,000.

Camelon said officials led by one Staff Sergeant Ramoncito Roque, who heads BuCor’s documents division, failed to fulfill their promise of freeing her husband last March and did not return her payment, which she got from a loan and from selling a property.

The sale of GCTA credits, she said, started before the tenure of just sacked BuCor Director General Nicanor Faeldon, but seems to have worsened under his term.

"Masabi kong mas matindi ngayon regarding doon sa case na ni ex-Mayor Sanchez, mga Chinese. Iyung malalaking [kaso]," she said.

(I can say that it has worsened because of the case of former Mayor Sanchez and several Chinese. Those are big cases.)

Faeldon earlier admitted recommending freedom for Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna convicted in 1995 for the rape-slay of college student Eileen Sarmenta and killing of her companion Allan Gomez two years earlier. Faeldon said he stopped Sanchez's release "because I believe he is not entitled" to GCTA benefits.

Four Chinese drug lords and 3 suspects in the 1997 rape-slay of the Chiong sisters, however, were among those freed under Faeldon's term.