LIVE: Senate probe into GCTA law, blocked release of Antonio Sanchez – Day 5
Rosette Adel ( - September 12, 2019 - 10:15am

MANILA, Philippines — Senators are set to resume a joint hearing into the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance on Thursday morning amid continuing allegations of irregularities in the implementation of the measure to reward prisoners for good behavior.

The fourth joint investigation in aid of legislation will still be led by Senate committee on Justice and Human Rights, chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon, along with the Senate committees on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes; Public Order and Dangerous Drugs; and Finance chaired by Senators. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Sonny Angara, respectively.

On Monday, witnesses Yolanda Camilon and Godfrey Gamboa, live-in partners, testified before senators and bared alleged details of the “GCTA for sale” scheme.

Camilon earlier claimed that Bureau of Corrections officials offer GCTA credits in exchange for huge sums of money to process the early release of inmates.

According to Camilon, she paid P50,000 in tranches in February, so that her partner Gamboa would be released in March.

However, the release was not processed and she alleged the payment was never returned by the Corrections officials.

Gamboa, imprisoned due to falsification of documents, meanwhile, also shared bribery and other alleged corruption inside the New Bilibid Prison. These include allowing mobile phone inside the cell, hospitalization and visitation privileges of inmates in exchange for cash.

The senators also tackled the reported pending release of former mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for the rape and murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and her boyfriend Allan Gomez in 1993.

The senators questioned BuCor officials on how Sanchez's supposed release, now blocked because of the scandal, was facilitated.

The previous hearings also covered the role of BuCor in the release of almost 2,000 convicts who committed heinous crimes.

BuCor officials, including sacked chief Nicanor Faeldon, attended the hearing to shed light into the release orders and the implementation of GCTA.

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