By William Casis
FilAm Star Correspondent
The inclusion of the names of Janet Lim Napoles and Rolifo Go in the list of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) that was supposed to be released under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) was a “stupid mistake” due to a computer glitch, said Sen. Richard Gordon.
Gordon, chair of the Blue Ribbon committee and Justice committee which is conducting an investigation into the controversy resulting in the early release of unqualified convicts, said the major blunder only showed the recklessness of some Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
He believes this mistake contributed to the senators’ decision to punish for contempt prison official including CTSO2 Ramoncito Roque, BuCor Documents and Record Section chief.
Roque, along with New Bilibid Prison Hospital Medical Officer Ursicio Cenas and BuCor Legal Division Chief Frederic Anthony Santos, were jailed at the Senate detention facility for contempt charges due to false testimonies given in the hearings.
When asked if there was an intent to let Napoles out of jail, Gordon admitted he is not looking at this possibility.
“It’s a stupid mistake; it’s as stupid as (setting) former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez out of jail,” stressed Gordon.
“Are you going to let Napoles out when we already have this chaos because of Sanchez?” asked Gordon.
Gordon was referring to the public outrage after it was reported that Sanchez, a convicted rapist-murderer, would be out of jail when he allegedly qualified in the good conduct credits under the GTCA.
President Duterte stopped the release of Sanchez and fired BuCor Director Nicanor Faeldon.
On the other hand, Napoles stood trial for graft and plunder charges when she was tagged as the mastermind in the multi-billion pork barrel scam.
Napoles is detained at the Women’s Correctional in Mandaluyong City while her trial is on-going at the Sandiganbayan.
The list indicated that Napoles was set for release under the good conduct law. Her listed conviction, however, was for rape.
However, in an interview, Gordon admitted there was an attempt before to let Napoles walk free but it was aborted. The Senator said it was also cancelled when it became public.
He did not give further details.
Gordon also pointed out there was also some mistakes in the list which involved 197 names.
Aside from Napoles and Go, there were similar names in the list. Also, there were names of PDLs who were actually out of prison.
He also said they were running after an inmate who was freed after the President commuted his sentence.
“If was really chaotic, so I asked the Department of Justice for their procedure,” also said Gordon.
Confronted by Gordon on the inaccurate list he submitted to the Senate, Roque said it was done in haste since there was a scheduled press conference in Palawan. Because of this, they did not properly check the list.
Gordon blurted out, “What has that got to do with the press conference? You have the list. You should have taken care of the list.”
Gordon earlier noticed many mistakes in the list submitted to his panel by Roque.
After his staff checked the list, they found out as incorrect the records of the 197 out of the more than 800 heinous crime convicts released during the Faeldon’s time .
“Almost 10 percent of the record was wrong ,” further stated Gordon.
In the committees’ fifth hearing, BuCor Senior Inspector Mabel Bansil also testified that the early release of inmates through the GCTA law was offered first to high profile inmates of New Bilibid Prison.
Bansil was one of the 30 BuCor officials ordered suspended for six months without pay by the Office of the Ombudsman due to the release of heinous crime convicts under the GCTA.