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Lawmakers uncover more jail schemes

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THE SENATE has uncovered more money-making schemes at the country’s jails, including prostitution, kidnap-for-ransom and gambling.

High-profile inmates pay at least P30,000 a night to be able to bring in a prostitute in their cells, former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos told senators during a hearing yesterday.

“There’s a building there that I can’t identify where gambling takes place 24 hours a day because there’s too much money inside,” he said in Filipino.

Ombudsman Samuel R. Martires this week suspended three prison officials for allegedly allowing the illegal release of felons convicted of heinous crimes, according to separate copies of the suspension orders.

The three had allowed the release of prison convicts based on public documents and testimonies of witnesses in violation of the law, Mr. Martires said in separate orders.

The officials were charged with grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.




On Monday night, 27 other prison officials were suspended in connection with the botched release of ineligible prisoners.

Also yesterday, the Justice department said convicted plunderer Janet Lim-Napoles was still in jail.

Jail officials earlier submitted a list of the almost 2,000 convicts who got freed. Ms. Napoles was reportedly on the list.

“Janet Lim-Napoles has not been released,” Justice Undersecretary Markk L. Perete said in a mobile-phone message. “She remains at the Correctional Institution for Women.”

He said that the Justice department had asked BuCor officials to explain why Ms. Napoles’s name was on the list.

BuCor data showed that 1,914 prisoners convicted of heinous crimes had been released for good conduct.

The rules on parole are now under review after irregularities came up during a Senate investigation.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has fired Nicanor E. Faeldon as BuCor head after he allowed the early release of the ineligible prisoners. — Charmaine A. Tadalan and Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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