Convicted killers and rapists released: Just another one of those Pinoy corruption things

Why are Filipinos so shocked about prisoners with connections getting a get-out-of-jail pass? That’s just stock-standard garden-variety Filipino way-of-doing-things at work there. According to an “intel report” quoted by Senate President Tito Sotto, “buying of good conduct points inside the New Bilibid Prison exists.”

Sotto’s intel revealed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials receive millions in exchange for Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) award to convicts as stated under Republic Act No. 10592 or the Revised Penal Code.

Shocking, right? Then again, is it really? That’s really no different to the wanton and incoherent way Filipinos manage most of their governance processes — from issuing drivers’ licenses and jeepney route franchises to releasing cargo from the docks and deciding on whether or not one gets disqualified for election rules violations. These are all processes with clear guidelines and clear criteria applied to the cases subject to these. It just so happens awarding GCTA happened to involve high-profile crook Calauan ex-mayor Antonio Sanchez. But before him, like all the crooked stuff happening within all these administrative processes, it comes down to who you know.

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So, in the Philippines, whether or not you get a GCTA award or a ticket for a traffic violation has nothing to do with how well-crafted a law or set of guidelines is. It comes down to the all-too-familiar question:

Alam mo ba kung sino ako?

If we are going to get all shrill about this latest circus surrounding how people guilty of heinous unspeakable crimes somehow suddenly get “good conduct” passes out of jail, we need to be consisted with that shrillness. There are people too who get maimed or killed by drivers who paid their way through the drivers’ licensing process, people who die from a lifetime spent inhaling diesel fumes because the Land Transporation Office (LTO) allowed millions of smoke-belching vehicles to remain on the road, and people who spend the equivalent of a murderer’s prison sentence stuck in traffic because residential enclaves where “important” people live are above zoning and right-of-way rules.

Indeed, the whole character of Philippine society is a macrocosm of this latest Antonio Sanchez circus. Most disturbing of all, the way attention is paid to it and solutions about it discussed is subject to the news cycle and the whims of influencers’ personal “trendiness” radars. What the Philippines needs is a more modern, more systematic and more intelligent way of prioritising issues and the solutions needed to address these. We cannot keep relying on “trending hashtag” activism to do that prioritising for us.

11 Replies to “Convicted killers and rapists released: Just another one of those Pinoy corruption things”

  1. If Death Note is real then I’ll gonna write all the names of the crooks & criminals in our country especially to a politician who said “Kilala mo ba ako?” And yes, I’ll gonna write his name on that notebook if he said that to me!

    No need for that Yellow stained GCTA Law, that one would only benefit for them & not for the law abiding citizens who are well disciplined & very honest.

  2. One might also ask how it was that Antonio Sanchez came to be Mayor in the first place, when everyone around him must have known what a nasty piece of work he was. The mundane fact is, Filipinos voted for him.

    I suspect his release will irreparably damage Duterte’s image. You can’t reassure the average Filipino that the streets are going to be cleaned up if the cleaning is this selective. Sanchez’s crime was not particularly unusual – rape and murder seems to be par for the course in Asia’s Only Christian Country – but normal, right-thinking Filipinos (I’m sure there must be a few) will surely take this event as a reality check.

    1. Ah, just realised Sanchez hasn’t actually been released (yet). I thought it was imminent. I try not to follow the news here too closely – it makes me feel like my brain is trying to escape through my ears.

  3. The GCTA Law is an idiotic law, authored by idiotic people, and approved by an idiotic President.

    Before, almost all Filipinos can buy their way out of any traffic violation , buy bribing most traffic policemen. Now, rich , powerful people can buy their way out of prison sentence, by bribing corrupt priso n officials to get points on the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law.

    Soon Drug Dealers and Drug Lords, can commit heinous crimes, that affect their drug business and get out of Jail thru GCTA Law…

    We should jail these people who are responsible in passing and approving this GCTA Law. They are heinous criminals themselves…there is too much sympathy for criminals; no sympathy for their victims…

    Bring back the Death Penalty. Build mor Prisons !

  4. Filipinos don’t need more laws, they need pragmatic Governance. But at this rate, it shouldn’t come to a surprise where you have public clamor against corruption, but they always go back to the “Bahala na” attitude. And this entire circus just revealed that the entire Government system in the Philippines is utterly garbage and hypocritical, it’s just tiresome.

  5. Really? You are dragging down the entire Filipino people because of this one issue messed up by Duterte by his “best and brighest” secrataries and undersecretaries? There is no one to be blame here but Duterte. Get real benigno!

    Look, Faeldon was already fired by Duterte before when the former headed the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on the issue of illegal drug shabu worth of billions of pesos getting passed in BOC and yet he placed this sucker again to head the Bureau of Corrections! And now, Duterte issued a statement that he still trusts Faeldon after the latter bungled big time in BOC and Corrections! Wow! A real laughingstock of this admin! Shame! It is possible that Duterte will appoint Faeldon again in the future to head another government department to mess. And yet now you are blaming the entire Filipino nation on this? Seems like you will really really rationalize everything by making it appear not to directly blame this Duterte administration when this admin deserves a big punch of heavy criticisms just like what you did to President Noynoy Aquino during his presidency. No wonder you put your loyalty to your politicians and you are labeled as a paid hack even without admitting them.

  6. Funny thing that certain partisan idiots seems to forget, the current President is not protecting his appointees or allies who failed him, the Government and the Country, unlike the last one who managed to make excuses after excuses. And when taking into account “criticism”, you’ll see the dishonesty and blatant opportunism.

    1. Not protecting? You surely in love with Duterte that you haven’t seen anything wrong. If you follow him, his style is he is recycling his “trusted people” to another post after firing them without them making liable and accountable to their previous big time blunders. If you fired someone, you should not hire him again. That could mean no protection. What happened to this admin slogan of hiring only “the best and the brightest?” It went to the gutter.

      1. I suppose there aren’t that many of “the best and the brightest” to go around. So he has to recycle the same half-a-dozen smart people. Even though they’re crooks.

        1. Yes or maybe this admin is just lazy or not interested to find the real best and the brightest to fill in cabinet positions in the government. Duterte is contented either recycling corrupt or incompetent people to run the government. Faeldon is the best example. Maybe Faeldon knows something dirty secret about Duterte or they are in cahoots of something that’s why Duterte keeps on trusting this guy even though there is already a public clamor against Faeldon because of his idiotic poor performance when he was the head of the Bureau of Corrections and Bureau of Customs.

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