Sandigan justice linked to inmates at it again
Former Assistant Solicitor General and incumbent Sandiganbayan Justice Karl Miranda—whose name was dragged in the controversy hounding the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)—has urged corrections officials to take advantage of the public attention and seek more funds for reform.
Miranda said his colleagues at the antigraft court had discouraged him from making a speech at the opening of the 22nd National Correctional Consciousness Week on Monday.
“Some of them [Sandiganbayan justices] said I did not learn from the wrongful criticism by some that arose from our visits to the prison,” he said.
“I explained to them that the problem here in Bilibid and all the prisons are not just problems of the Bureau of Corrections or the Department of Justice. This is the problem of the whole society. This is everyone’s problem.”
Miranda was referring to a documentary that showed him and legal trainees of the Office of Solicitor General (OSG) listening to a saxophone performance by convicted kidnapper Jaybee Sebastian.
When the video was shown during the House inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the prison, Miranda credited Kabayan Party-list Rep. Harry Roque for pointing out that regular visits to the penitentiary were part of the OSG’s legal internship program.
Still, Miranda maintained that he had reason to return to the NBP.
“The real solution to this problem will not come only from the agencies. It has to come from the government and the public. It has to come from all of us,” he said.
Even as the House inquiry has brought scorn and humiliation to BuCor, Miranda said the House inquiry should be an opportunity to ferret out the truth and come up with solutions.
“It is Congress’ objective and duty to address the problems it saw here. That’s why the Congress hearings are called ‘in aid of legislation,’” he said.