This file photo shows the New Bilibid Prison.
The STAR/Miguel De Guzman, file
Hospital passes reportedly sold to Bilibid inmates
(Philstar.com) - September 7, 2019 - 6:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — Many prisons officials and personnel reportedly sold hospital passes to convicts who want to be transferred to the New Bilibid Prison hospital to escape congested jails.

This came amid reports that Bureau of Corrections personnel sold good conduct time allowance (GCTA) credits to national penitentiary inmates who want to cut short their jail time.

GMA News reported that some inmates were moved into medical facilities by faking their illness and buying the so-called “hospital referral official pass” from BuCor employees.

“According to the source, bigtime drug lords, including those detained at the maximum security compound, have taken advantage of this passes to get out of jail,” the news report said.

“The ‘fee’ for the hospital referral pass will take care of tampered medical record, which will make it appear that the inmate is sick and should be transferred to a less-congested facility ‘for health reasons,’” it added.

President Rodrigo Duterte early this week fired BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon for disobeying his order to stop the release of convicts based on their GCTA.

Duterte also ordered the immediate rearrest of at least 1,700 convicts freed through the GCTA law.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires said his office was prioritizing the probe into corruption allegations in the prisons bureau. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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