Monday, September 16, 2019 | Cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains which may trigger flashfloods & landslides will be experienced over Ilocos region and the provinces of Batanes, Benguet, Zambales, Bataan & the islands of Babuyan.| House approves President Duterte’s third tax reform package | US House approves oil drilling ban | Uncertain Times Make Strong Ports More Vital | ‘Kuwaresma’ to premiere in international film festivals | Yeng Guiao steps down as Gilas Pilipinas coach | 1 USD = 52.15 PhP as of closing Sep 11, 2019|
Philippine News
Inmate's wife tells of ‘GCTA for sale’ at Bilibid

September 6 ------ A wife of an inmate on Thursday night told investigating lawmakers that New Bilibid Prison (NBP) prisoners can avail of an early release for a fee, bolstering claims of a "GCTA for sale" racket allegedly by Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials. Facing the Senate blue ribbon committee, Yolanda Camelon narrated her dealings with BuCor officials to adjust the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) record of her husband and reduce his prison sentence leading to his release.

GCTA, which is covered by Republic Act 10592, allows for reduction of sentence of persons deprived of liberty (PDL), depending on how well they abide by the rules inside the penal institutions. Controversy on the GCTA broke following reports about the possible early release of convicted murderer-rapist Antonio Sanchez. "Isa po kami or ako sa mga naging biktima . . . na nagpapatunay na meron po talagang GCTA buying,  . . . yun nga lang, magastos," she told the panel led by Senator Richard Gordon. Camelon said Major Mabel Bansil approached her in February and told her that her husband's prison term could be shortened if she is willing to pay P50,000.

According to Camelon, Bansil introduced her to Staff Sergeant Ramoncito Roque, who was BuCor's chief of documents. Camelon said she made the first payment — P10,000 — at Roque's house.  She made the next two payments of P20,000 each. After shelling out the amount, she said she was promised the release of her husband in March this year, but that did not happen.  The date was moved to June and then to October.  At this point, Camelon said she no longer wanted to negotiate with the BuCor officials and demanded her money back.

A separate report by Super Radyo dzBB said that only P10,000 has been returned so far to Camelon. When she heard about talks of the GCTA controversy, she decided to come forward and tell her story. Gordon suspended the hearing at past 11 p.m. and said it would resume at 10 a.m. on Monday.  Another witness is expected to make revelations about the GCTA for sale.

Roque confirmed that Camelon and Bansil went to his house and forced him to accept the P10,000.  He said he returned the money after a few days. "Wala po akong tinanggap," he said, adding that he returned the money only after few days because was thinking about a lot things that time. He also said he could not do anything about the records of Camelon's husband and that of other inmates because it was under the custody of the encoder. "Hindi ho ako gumagalaw sa pagbibigay ng GCTA, sa encoder po yun," he told the Senate panel.

A GMA News exclusive report published earlier in the day also narrated about the story of Lydia, whose husband had been in jail for a few years.  Like Camelon, she received an offer from Roque's group to process his GCTA documents. "Tatlo sila, una yung tumatawag sa akin sa CP, pangalawa yung tumatanggap ng pera, at yung hepe nila, sino po yun? Si Chito Roque, head ng documents section," said Lydia, who added that she had to take out a loan for the money.

"Tinatawagan nila ako sa CP, fina-follow up nila ang budget ko, hihingi nila yung 50k, on hand ko lang 10k, OK na raw iyon, yung balance pag available na."

Holy grail of Philippine maps surfaces at auction
Slow Marawi rehab puts the city at risk for another ISIS threat
Excess irrigation water to be used for human consumption
Faeldon ordered to attend Senate hearing amid GCTA issue
Laguna plane crash
House exec withdraws 2020 budget
DOH conserves HIV meds amid shortage
Duque clarifies UHC rollout is not delayed
I’m staying – Faeldon
‘Liwayway’ intensifies; Signal No. 1 up over Batanes
Senators on Faeldon narrative: No logic, ‘lying’
Sanchez kin not paying P12-M damages in Sarmenta-Gomez case
Signal No. 1 in Batanes lifted; Exiting ‘Liwayway’ intensifies
Dengue deaths nearing a thousand
Sabah belongs to PH — Locsin
Duterte not satisfied with Xi response on SCS
Senators suspect syndicate in NBP behind convict releases
Duterte: I’m firing Faeldon
Inmate's wife tells of ‘GCTA for sale’ at Bilibid
Palace: Bato also faces probe over freed convicts
Inflation cools further in August
2020 budget refiled in House, no insertion
Tariff collections on rice importation seen to reach P15B this year
DepEd: High dropout rate due to teenage pregnancy
‘Not the Baguio we used to know’
DA to buy all palay from local farmers
Bulker Detained in Australia over Unpaid Crew Wages
Habagat dumping rains over Luzon
DOJ: No prisoner released on GCTA has left PH; 76 surrendered
Palace defends De Lima witness transfer
‘Faeldon can still get new post’
Duterte puts an end to Faeldon’s march in government
Inmate at New Bilibid Prison bares paying for freedom
House panel OKs report for proposed P4.1-T 2020 budget bill
DA: African swine fever in PH; pork safe
P1.79-B ‘hanging pork’ sparks controversy in 2020 national budget
Leila De Lima, Mar Roxas asked to explain GCTA rules
Initial recount in VP protest completed
Joma mocks Duterte for ignorance of international law
Janet Lim Napoles’ name appears on list of freed inmates due to GCTA
Meralco rates in September cut by 52 centavos per kwh
Duterte: Energy deal OK with China if PH drops claim
House approves President Duterte’s third tax reform package
Joma Sison confident he won’t be arrested despite warrant in PHL
Palace: Philippine not dropping claims, arbitral victory
NFA council sets palay buying price at P19/kilo
Bilibid flesh trade, 24-hour gambling bared
Dengue cases hit 250,000; more than 1,000 dead
Philippines, Singapore forge stronger ties
Don’t blame me for traffic, Poe tells Duterte
House OKs bill allowing foreigners to practice their professions in PH