The good conduct time allowance (GCTA) controversy just keeps springing horror after horror at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
After a modus operandi that allowed prisoners to stay in the NBP hospital in exchange for cash was uncovered, a far worse scheme was brought to light on Wednesday (September 11) wherein “sick” inmates were actually cleared to leave the prison compound and be confined in a private medical institution.
This was revealed by a doctor at the NBP to the news team of GMA Network’s “24 Oras”.
In the news program’s report on Wednesday night, a doctor at the NBP said members of NBP’s medical staff have been getting numerous death threats to force them to approve certifications allowing certain “sick” prisoners to get treatment outside the prison walls. These prisoners pretend to have illnesses that cannot be treated by NBP doctors.
“‘Yung mga doctor pindadalhan ng bulaklak ng patay sa bahay. Pati yata tatlong nurses pinaldahan din,” the witness said in the “24 Oras” report. Because of this, members of the medical staff have no choice but to approve the requests for transfer of certain inmates to a private hospital. There were doctors who just opted to resign.
The doctor who made this revelation is expected to detail this modus during the resumption of the Senate inquiry into the GCTA mess on Thursday.
Initially, senators uncovered the so-called “GCTA for sale” scheme, wherein prison officials allowed the early release of heinous crime convicts in exchange for cash. They used the GCTA provisions of Republic Act 10592 as basis for the release.
After that, Senator Bong Go disclosed that some prisoners who fake illnesses were being transferred to the NBP hospital, where they would conduct transactions involving illegal drugs. This was since dubbed as “hospital pass for sale”.
The cost of this hospital pass, according to Senator Panfilo Lacson, ranges from P200,000 to P2 million. “And meron pa itong board and lodging amounting to 30,000 per day. Eh, wala namang mangyayaring ganoon kung walang magce-certify na doktor.”
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said four new witnesses are expected to reveal fresh information to the committees on justice and blue ribbon.