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Pwedeng hulugan! Inmate’s wife confirms ‘GCTA for sale’ modus in Bilibid

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The wife of an inmate detained at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) testified at the Senate Thursday (September 5) about an alleged modus involving paying off Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials in exchange for a prisoner’s early release.

Yolanda Camilon appeared at the joint Senate committee hearing on the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law to share her encounters with BuCor officials in an attempt to reduce her husband’s prison sentence.

Camilon said a certain Major Mabel Bansil approached her in February and told her that her husband could be out earlier than scheduled if she was willing to pay P50,000.

The witness said Bansil introduced her to Staff Sergeant Ramoncito Roque, who was BuCor’s chief of documents.

Camilon said she gave Roque P10,000, with the intent of paying the remaining P40,000 in two installments.

Despite paying Roque, Camilon said her husband’s supposed release in March did not happen. She said the promised date for her husband’s release was then moved to June.

When the schedule wasn’t met, Camilon said she lost interest in paying off BuCor officials and demanded her money back.

Camilon said neither Bansil nor Roque returned her money.

The witness said she decided to testify because controversy over the GCTA Law had blown over.

Otherwise known as Republic Act 10592, the GCTA Law allows inmates to reduce their prison sentence by earning credits for good behavior.

Its implementation has been suspended after reports that the law has been used to justify the release of several convicts of heinous crimes, such as Chinese drug lords and three of the individuals convicted for the rape and murder of sisters Jacqueline and Marijoy Chiong in 1997.

Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the hearing on the GCTA Law will continue on September 9.

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