Thursday, September 12, 2019

The release of "Janet Lim Napoles"

Janet "Jenny" Luy Lim-Napoles (born Janet Lim y Luy; January 15, 1964) is a businesswoman who is believed to have masterminded the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) Scam. She was convicted of plunder for her involvement in the PDAF Scam and is facing charges for alleged involvement in the misuse of the Malampaya fund for disaster response operations.

Alleged pork barrel scam queen "Janet Lim Napoles" was among the inmates released due to the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law, according to the list submitted by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to the Senate.

Based on records, the "Janet Lim Napoles" released in the list was not the one facing plunder trial and detained at the Correctional Institution for Women.  Instead, the one release in November 2018 was convicted for rape.

On the list, the charge attached to Napoles was rape, not plunder.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the blue ribbon committee, said he was disappointed with the revelation.

ustice Undersecretary Deo Marco, who heads the committee responsible for reviewing activities at Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), said an investigation is underway.

"Either na nasa listahan talaga si Napoles hindi lang natuloy, or nagkamali sa encoding, especially, rape ang sinabing kaso d'yan ni Napoles. I will ask BuCor to explain," Marco said.

“There is an attempt to release as many people as they can, including Napoles,” he said, adding that he would raise the matter at Thursday’s resumption of the Senate hearing on Republic Act No. 10592 that he leads.

The good conduct law drew scrutiny from lawmakers for nearly benefiting rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez whose release on supposed good behavior was aborted amid public outrage.

Napoles was among 2,160 convicts serving time for heinous crimes but released on good conduct time allowance under the 2013 law.

A list from the Bureau of Corrections obtained by the Inquirer showed that a ‘Napoles, Janet y Lim,’ prisoner N211P-2332, was among “persons deprived of liberty” who were freed under the current administration.

Napoles was number 275 in the group of convicts charged with rape who were freed on Nov. 12, 2018.

Monday, September 2, 2019

The release of Antonio Sanchez

Director General Nicanor Faeldon admitted that he signed a release order for former Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez, but insisted that he “stopped the process” for his release.

Faeldon made the admission after repeatedly denying during the Senate committee on justice and human rights hearing Monday that he signed a release order.

He insisted that what he signed was a memorandum to start the process of Sanchez’s release.

When presented by Senator Panfilo Lacson with a copy of the release order for Sanchez which bore his signature, Faeldon still insisted that it was a memorandum greenlighting the start of the release process.

Lacson, however, pointed out that the fourth paragraph of the memorandum dated August 20, 2019 gave the directive to submit a report on the compliance of the order.

He insisted that the release process for Sanchez was not completed.

Sanchez, who was convicted for the rape and murder of Mary Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of Allan Gomez, would have been among the estimated 11,000 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who are said to have qualified for a reduced prison term based on good conduct time allowance (GCTA).

The GCTA system allows a PDL, including those convicted of heinous crimes based on the existing implementing rules, to apply for a reduction of his prison term on good conduct.

Good conduct, based on the implementing rules, means participation in any of six programs and not violating any of the 45 offenses listed, Faeldon said.

Faeldon said the recommendation to release Sanchez and several others reached his office on July 20, 2019.

He said he had reservations about releasing Sanchez and that he had been discussing with the BuCor legal office on how to legally stop the former mayor’s release from jail.

But he said he was advised that a case would not be filed against him if he releases Sanchez because there is legal basis for this. But if he holds Sanchez and other PDLs, a case would be filed against him.

Reports on the impending release of Sanchez sparked public outrage.

Gordon questioned the GCTA granted to the former mayor, considering that he was reported to have committed several violations in prison, including not wearing a PDL’s uniform.

RA 10592 was passed in 2013 under then President Benigno Aquino III with the goal of decongesting prisons and giving a second chance to reformed convicts.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that this law should be applied to prison sentences given even prior to its passage.

A total of 1,914 prisoners convicted of heinous crimes have been granted early release since 2014 under the GCTA law, BuCor data showed. Under the Revised Penal Code, any release order granted cannot be revoked.

More than two decades since he was convicted, Sanchez still maintains innocence, saying he was a victim of a frame-up by his political enemies.
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