Senate panel resumes GCTA controversy probe
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee on Thursday resumed its investigation on controversies hounding the early discharge of heinous crime convicts through the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who headed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, was among those expected to testify on the raids conducted inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Magalong had earlier confirmed the reported anomalies in the NBP.
“We have heard a lot of those before — the smuggling in of prohibited items, the smuggling in drugs,” he said in a radio interview over the weekend.
Aside from Magalong, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II was also invited to attend the hearing.
Meanwhile, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said two heinous crime convicts freed through the GCTA law are also expected to face the Senate panel.
The Senate panel’s investigation stemmed from the aborted release of rape and murder convict and former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez.
The hearings uncovered alleged cases of that freedom through the good conduct credits being sold to NBP inmates.
The “hospital-pass-for-sale” scheme likewise surfaced during the hearings.
Witnesses have already testified and attested to the alleged schemes.
Several alleged money-making operations were also exposed by a former BuCor official in a hearing last week.
Three Bureau of Corrections officials were also cited in contempt for allegedly evading questions from senators.
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