New Senate witness to bolster 'GCTA for sale' exposé


Posted at Sep 09 2019 10:34 AM

Senate President Tito Sotto gives his acceptance speech during the opening of the 18th Congress at the Philippine Senate on July 22, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A second witness will corroborate in a legislative hearing on Monday a whistleblower's account of the alleged sale of good conduct time allowance (GCTA) credits for the early release of prisoners, Senate President Vicente Sotto said.

Yolanda Camelon, one of 3 Senate witnesses, told lawmakers last week that she paid P50,000 to 3 Bureau of Corrections officials for the early release of her husband, aN inmate at New Bilibid Prisons, based on GCTA.

"Iyong magko-corroborate kay Yolanda Camelon, mukhang naka-ready na (the one who will corroborate Camelon seems ready)," Sotto told radio DZMM hours ahead of the resumption of the Senate inquiry.

A third witness appeared hesitant to join the proceedings, he added. "Parang nanlalaming iyong paa (the witness seems to be getting cold feet)," he said, without giving additional details.

Sotto earlier said the witnesses include a detainee and another individual whose identity he refrained from disclosing.

The GCTA, which was expanded under a 2013 law, came under fire following reports that it could benefit Antonio Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna convicted in 1990's rape-murder case that was among the most followed in the country.

Former BuCor Director General Nicanor Faeldon told lawmakers he recommended freedom for Sanchez but stopped the latter'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.

Bookmark this link for a livestream of the Senate inquiry: