Inmate bares corruption in Bilibid: Mobile phones, TVs go in for a fee
MANILA, Philippines — It only costs P500 to P1,000 to bring a celullar phone or a television inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, an inmate alleged Monday.
Godfrey Gamboa, who was sentenced to four years in prison for falsification of public documents, exposed the alleged corruption at the Bilibid when he testified before the Senate committee on justice.
Gamboa corroborated the testimony of his partner, Yolanda Camilon, who earlier claimed to have paid P50,000 to Staff Sgt. Ramoncito Roque, head of BuCor’s documents and record section, in exchange of his release.
After allegedly paying the amount, Gamboa said they were promised he would be freed next month through the good conduct time allowance law.
He said it was his partner who negotiated for his release.
“Nag-usap po si ‘yung asawa ko at si at Ma’am Mabel na may tutulong daw po sa akin,” he told the committee, apparently referring to BuCor Senior Insp. Mabel Bansil.
“Pinag-usapan daw nila. Tinanong ko naman sya (Camilon) magkano? Kasi alam ko na ‘yun eh. Sa two years, madami po akong naririnig na sinasabi nila binibayaran daw po. So, sabi ko magkano kaagad?”
Camilon, in her testimony before the committee last week, alleged that she gave her payment to Roque through Bansil. The two officials vehemently denied the allegation.
“Talamak ba talaga lagayan dyan? Kung gusto mo magkaroon ng telepono, maglalagay ka?” Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the committee, later asked.
When Gamboa answered yes, Gordon asked again how much was the pay off just to allow the use of a phone inside the prison.
“Depende, Sir, sa klase ng telepono,” the inmate said, “Kung tough screen o keypad.”
The one-time pay to jail guards, he said, ranges from P500 to P1,000 to be able to have a mobile phone or television behind bars.
Even conjugal visits have a price tag, according to Gamboa.
He also said talks of corruption, however, somehow stopped during the time of then BuCor chief and now Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and his successor, Nicanor Faeldon, who was fired by Duterte last September 4 amid the controversy surrounding the early release of heinous crime convicts. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.