Party-list solons slam inclusion of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Napoles on GCTA list

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2019 04:10 PM

MANILA – Party-list lawmakers are up in arms over the inclusion of alleged Priority Development Assistance Fund scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles on the list of those who were supposed to be released early under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares on Thursday asked why Napoles, convicted of plunder and the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, was among inmates for early release during Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa's stint as Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief.

BuCor data showed some 2,000 heinous crime convicts were released early from 2013 until last month under the expanded GCTA law, which included detention in the computation of time served.

"Another question is why was her supposed crime rape and she was supposedly released on good behavior last November 2018? Who signed her release papers? Did money change hands? And why was she not released?" asked Colmenares.

Zarate, also House Deputy Minority leader, meanwhile said there seems to be a mafia inside the BuCor. He said those accountable for the GCTA mess should be held liable.

"Mukhang ginawang kumikitang kabuhayan ng mga opisyal ng Bucor ang 'GCTA scam' at kailangang magkaroon ng lifestyle check ang mga opisyales ng Bucor mula 2014," Zarate said.

(BuCor officials seem to be making a livelihood out of the GCTA scam, and there needs to be lifestyle checks on bureau officials from 2014.)

News about Napoles’ alleged inclusion on the GCTA list is alarming, said ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap in a statement.

“Noong una kong nabasa ito, akala ko fake news. Lalo tayong nangangamba baka may nangyayari nga na GCTA for sale sa BuCor. Hindi sapat na tinanggal lang sa serbisyo ang mga opisyal nito, dapat na patuloy na gumulong ang pagdinig ukol sa GCTA mess na kinakaharap ng BuCor. “

(When I first read this, I thought it was fake news. We’re alarmed that maybe GCTA is really for sale in the BuCor. It’s not enough to just dismiss officials from service. The investigation into the GCTA mess must continue.)

A witness earlier surfaced at the Senate and bared an alleged "GCTA for sale" racket at the BuCor.

Yap intends to file a bill defining good conduct and providing conditions in the grant of good conduct time allowance.