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GCTA-for-sale witnesses show audio evidence

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WITNESS Yolanda Camilon on Monday presented to the Senate committee on justice what she claims to be a recording of her conversation with Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer Veronica Buño that proves the freedom-for-sale scheme under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

Ms. Camilon’s partner who is serving time, Godfrey Gamboa, also appeared before the committee to corroborate her statement on the alleged P50,000 payment for his supposed release.

The payment was completed in “January or February,” according to Mr. Gamboa, and they were promised that he would be released by March.

The release did not happen and so Mr. Gamboa asked Ms. Camilon to just retrieve the money.

The recorded phone conversation, played at the hearing, contains a discussion between Ms. Camilon and supposedly Ms. Buño on the release arrangement.

Ms. Buño denied being the person in the recording and said she does not know Ms. Camilon.




The senators, however, were not convinced.

Senator Richard J. Gordon, committee chairman, said Ms. Buño’s manner of speaking and the person on the phone resembled; while Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said the two sounded alike.

Former BuCor director-general Nicanor E. Faeldon, meanwhile, denied awareness of Department Order No. 953, which mandates that the Justice secretary be informed prior to the release of qualified beneficiaries of GCTA.

BuCor legal division chief Frederico Anthony E. Santos, on the other hand, said he did inform Mr. Faeldon about the order. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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