WATCH: Witness says inmates bribe Bilibid guards to sneak in contrabands, use cellphones
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - September 9, 2019 - 9:36pm

MANILA, Philippines — An inmate who testified before the Senate on Monday confirmed that bribery is still rampant inside the New Bilibid Prison.

During the hearing into the Good Conduct Time Allowance law, inmate Godfrey Gamboa revealed that some of the prisoners pay guards so that they could sneak in contrabands such as cellphones, television sets, cigarettes and food from family members, among others

Asked for the price range for cellphones, Gamboa said that prices vary based on the kind of cellphone, citing that there are touch screen ones and keypad ones. He said these may range from P500 to P1,000.

Gamboa added that family visitors are also being permitted by guards if there’s bribery.

He clarified that conjugal visits used to be a common practice inside the Bilibid until it was banned by former Bureau of Corrections chiefs Sen. Bato dela Rosa and Nicanor Faeldon.

Gamboa’s wife Yolanda Camilon, last Thursday testified before the Senate on the existence of "GCTA for sale" transactions.

Gamboa was imprisoned for falsification of documents. He was sentenced for four years imprisonment and is set to walk free by October.

His wife, Camilon, however, sought for BuCor’s help for his early release and paid them P50,000 last February but his supposed release in March was halted.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and Sen. Panfilo Lacson reminded Gamboa of his risky revelations that might cost him his life. They said Gamboa has no gain in this despite his testimonies because he would be released next month.

Gamboa is now under the custody of the Senate.

Although he fears for his life, Gamboa said that he is just testifying because he is standing up for his fellow inmates at the minimum security compound.

He lamented why only the convicts at the medium and maximum security compounds with longer sentences are being released.

“Walang magagawa ang tinatayuan ko naman dito yung mga kasama kong preso,” Gamboa said.

(I can’t do anything, I am only standing up for my fellow prisoners.)

“Napapaiyak ako sa dami ng mga matanda na hindi nakakalaya—na namamatay na lang na hindi nila nakamtan na makasama ang pamilya nila. Nasa minimum ‘yung namamatay,” he added.

(I am saddened how the elderly aren’t being released—they die and fail to spend time with their families. Those who are in minimum are the ones dying.)

The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights as well as the committees on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes; Public Order and Dangerous Drugs; and Finance are conducting an investigation into the anomalous implementation of GCTA.

Almost 2,000 convicts who committed heinous crimes were released due to this law.

BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS GCTA GCTA CONTROVERSY GCTA FOR SALE GODFREY GAMBOA NEW BILIBID PRISON RICHARD GORDON
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