Correcting the Bureau of Corrections

Editorial cartoon by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2019 01:08 PM

Correcting the Bureau of Corrections

The can of worms that was opened by the Senate investigation into the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law has once again exposed the various anomalies allegedly perpetrated by Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) personnel in the country's penal system.

Given the secrecy involved in operating correctional facilities, various corrupt acts continue in the New Bilibid Prison and perhaps, in other prisons throughout the country.

There's "tilapia (allowing female entertainers for a fee)," prolonged conjugal visits, hospital passes for sale, kidnap-for-ransom activities, drug trafficking, among others.

It's time to let the sun shine on the BuCor to help rid it of vices of its corrupt personnel.

There was good intention in passing the GCTA law. Philippine prisons are among the worst worldwide for being too overcrowded and inhuman, and the GCTA can help reduce the number of people inside.

Convicts who have truly been good deserve a second chance, but those who have been bad while serving their sentences, as well as those who have not shown remorse, should not be covered by the GCTA law.

The problem is in the implementation of an otherwise good law, and this means amending the GCTA process and holding BuCor personnel accountable for their misdeeds.