5-star perks for VIP inmates bared in Philippine prison but top jail exec excused!

At first, I really didn’t understand what the big “shock” over the 5-star-hotel-like trappings laid out for “special” inmates in the Philippines’ main prison facility, the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila was all about. Stories about the top-notch perks enjoyed by the country’s prison royalty have been the stuff of legend for the longest time.

But then on second look, perhaps it was the sheer audacity with which these perks were funded and developed within the prison that shocked the civil sensibilities of the chattering classes. A music video recorded in — get this — a music studio for inmates built within the prison complex is available for viewing on YouTube!

Now that is shocking!

Nevertheless the real question that people need to be asking now that all that has been laid bare before the media following a “raid” conducted by the Justice Department recently is: Whose heads will roll?.

Of course there is no shortage of after-the-fact “recommendations” from the phalanx of “experts” that have descended upon the now-trending issue

“The military should take over the prison, and all the people involved from top to bottom must be fired,” Dante Jimenez, founder of the Manila-based watchdog group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, said.

“It’s unfair that even after conviction, we’re still not sure that justice has been served,” added Teresita See, head of the Manila-based Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order.

But of course.

I wouldn’t hold my breath though. No less than the Philippines’ Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayu is pleading ignorance of the shenanigans going on in his own prison system. And here’s another shocking revelation: Justice Secretary Leila De Lima is buying that plea. De Lima has reportedly cleared Bucayu of any accountability over the scandal and is instead going after middle management…

De Lima, however, said she directed NBP executives and officers – from Superintendent Roberto Rabo down to the jail guards – to submit their respective explanations as to why they should not be held administratively liable over the illegal drugs, mobile phones and gadgets seized from 20 drug lords operating from inside the prison.

“I will require all of them to explain why these contrabands were these inside the maximum security compound, and depending on their explanations we determine who will be charged administratively,” she said in an interview.

It’s no wonder that the Philippines has become world-renowned for its criminal no-justice system. Top execs and cabinet-level officers are hardly ever held accountable for much of the country’s most appalling crimes — the underlying irony here being that nothing ever gets done without top-level prodding. This is a country after all where murders don’t get solved within a reasonable timeframe unless orders come directly from the President. The corollary also holds true: murders also don’t get solved by order of a top government exec such as the President.

Indeed, the list of cases of appalling deprivation of justice is long and getting longer by the day. A politically-motivated massacre of 58 people allegedly perpetrated by Maguindanao warlord Andal Ampatuan remains unresolved after five years, for example. Even more astounding, the 1983 murder of national hero Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr, father of the current President of the Philippines himself, Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III hasn’t been solved despite that current presidential term entering its fifth year!

Justice in the Philippines?

The first and last words of that sentence belong only in a sentence that ends in a question mark. And the answer to that no-brainer question is pretty clear.

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21 Comments on “5-star perks for VIP inmates bared in Philippine prison but top jail exec excused!”

  1. Here’s to betting Bucayu knew, but bargained immunity from prosecution from de Lima in exchange for him divulging all he knew about the goings-on in his jurisdiction.

    Holes everywhere, I know.

    On the issue of VIP treatment, though — why be so mad that the likes of Colangco and Co got it? Who, given money, brains, and connections, wants to be treated like a prisoner in this country? Our jails are antiquated and overpopulated enough as they are; no wonder the richer prisoners want to keep themselves separate from the pack. If there’s anything worth being angry about, it’s that they can continue their illegal activities while in jail.

    Iyong karangyaan nila’y nagpapatunay lang na tao sila’t di hayop na binababoy-baboy lang dahil nasasakdal sa batas. Bakit, por que may atraso sila, di na sila puwedeng tratuhin nang may dangal? Itong sistemang ipinapatakbo natin ngayon sa mga kulungan natin — kung di iyan cruel and unusual punishment para sa kanila, kung di iyan nag-uudyok sa kanilang gumawa pa ng karagdagang kabalbalan paglabas nila sa kulungan, di ko na alam.

  2. The Director of the Bilibid Prison is accountable for what is happening inside the Bilibid Prison. Drug Lords have taken over the: Police, Prisons, Judges and Politicians. We are now like Mexico.

    I believe the Chinese Triad (Chinese Mafia) is operating in the Philippines…All of the people who runs the Prison are accountable. The Higher echelon of management of the Bilibid Prison, must bear the heaviest responsibilities. Maybe, Aquino himself, is involved in this mess. De Lima, herself, who cleared the high Prison officials, may be involved also…see what Drug Money can do?

    1. For the longest time before this, Philippines was called “Mexico Island” for a good reason.

      Hell, the biggest syndicate that runs the country is our government.

  3. I do not consider , Benigno Aquino, Jr. , as a Hero. He is a Political Opportunist, who died protecting his Hacienda Luisita…

    Somebody in the NPA, ordered his murder…

        1. How is this related to the topic at hand? How could the allegations blurted out here be authenticated?

          If the proper answers to both questions are “not at all” and “beats me”, then there are no answers at all.

      1. You really can’t have a comment thread on any Filipino news site/blog and not have random, unrelated, unfounded comments on it. Hyden Toro is GRP’s representative commenter-without-common-sense. To be honest, GRP is better-off in that there are so much fewer Hydens here than in other mainstream news sites. Have you seen Inquirer’s comment threads? Yikes! It’s where rational discussion goes out to die.

        1. @Dumdum:

          How right I was….If I smell something rotten…it is really putrid and rotten !

  4. Zarzuela lang yan ng Sindikatong Dilaw at ng #1 Attack Dog nilang si LieLa Halimaw para malihis sa tunay na issueng talamak na Pandarambong ng Sindikatong Dilaw trough Emergency Power para limasin ang Malampaya Funds, 2015 Trillones na Budget na tiyak na lilimasin din nila, last minute Supplemental Budget at pati na rin yung Foreign Cash donations para sa Yolanda victims tiyak na na ibulsa na nila. Ganyan ka ganid ang Sindikatong Dilaw sa pamumuno ng Abnoy na may sayad ang pag iisip.

  5. Napatawa lang ako nung napanood ko ang balitang ito eh. I mean, seriously, nobody knew about this? And everyone thinks na walang alam ang mga pulis, ang gobyerno, at ang Secretary of Justice tungkol dito?
    nameyn. Of course, they knew. They knew all along. But they chose to expose things at this moment.

    Let’s wait for a couple of weeks and one person will be held accountable for all this crap. One person. One person who will be carrying the weight of all this.

    Naku. Lahat ng raid at mga echos ng government ngayon…hindi ko na pinaniniwalaan. Kasi..for sure, raid raid ngayon..uulit pa rin yan.
    Two years from now..a new president will be elected. New people on the government seat. Bagong mga magkakaalyado and all.

    See the bigger picture?
    All this is for a show. Pa impress or pa ewan..sila pa rin ang makakagain.

    And this is just enough proof of how the government is screwing the people of this country. And many actually believed this was done out of good governance? Naku. Hindi po. Politika pa rin po.

    Kbye.

  6. Wow, so this is that news eh. I think I saw a sex doll over there, with freaking PS4..like I could never buy it with my current salary. I could if I save up but I got other priorities sadly, but wow..they live such a good life and good ol’ tax-paying citizens get to be shit on and pay for these good-for-nothing sons-of-bitches with their tax pesos and this is what they get.. “justice”..yeah bullshit.

    I guess everybody has a price and everyone can be bought, ironically they could not buy freedom. But I guess choosing to live that kind of life for them isn’t really that bad, because while the rest of the population thinks that the “bad guys” are rotting in jail when in reality, they are able to live such a “sheltered” life. I guess only Death can make anyone equal.

    How could they turn a blind eye for this for years? I guess everyone gets a cut and a slice of the pie per say..Sorry for the outrage but, it’s freaking ridiculous. No wonder why a lot of people shit on our country..I’m not even surprised anymore..This is one of those times when if the Death Note was real, their names would’ve been written a long time ago and its pages would probably be full right about now.

  7. this is the kind of thing that makes a person want to hit their head on the wall, repeatedly. one, how in the f do you say with a straight face that you did not notice cellphones, drugs, tvs, guitars, hell…. structures were being built in the jail? two, how is anyone not getting fired over this? three how are these jail officials not being investigated for graft and corruption (you know that they are on the take)?

    As an aside, when did Philippine law allow for a furlough from serving jail time? what the f is that? a court requested time out from jail to visit your relatives?

    jail is meant to reform people. to do this people in jail must not be allowed to enjoy perks that people on the outside are allowed to enjoy…as it is these guys live better in jail then 99% of the population outside.

    the inmates are literally running the prisons.

    1. Why hit your head on the wall and injure yourself? Bang one of the scumbags heads on the wall that are responsible for this disgraceful situation, that is a much better idea.

  8. OMG ! this is a laugh! Ms.DeLima ‘will ask’ pirson officials to explain ‘how’ the contraband got into the maximum security compound and ‘based on their explanations’ Ms.Delima will decide what action to take !

    *****************BWAH HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHAH*********** it never ends ! ask the criminal to explain his/her self and then say “OK, that’s good enough for me !”,can anyone hear the explanations now? “I did not know,I swear!”, BWAH HA HA HA, whatta a disgrace !!!!!!!

  9. I think I heard on the news that the Philippine government is setting up drop boxes in the NBD so that inmates can voluntarily deposit contraband. Good luck with that.

    Again who runs these prisons?

    As an aside did you know that the prison inmate to guard ratio at bilibid is 80:1. Scary carp.

  10. This already been a practice even before Aquino’s term. It just happened that they go beyond the concealable ways of letting those contrabands and other prohibited items inside the prison. I assume that this issue went out to the public not because someone is so concern and can’t take this illegal operations inside the prison but because someone didn’t get a share.

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