DOJ to probe ‘GCTA for sale’ in Bilibid

MANILA — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday confirmed that an investigation would be undertaken on possible irregularities in the computation of good conduct time allowance (GCTA) on the prisoners’ remaining sentences.

In a chance interview, Guevarra said he believes such anomalies happen inside the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) but noted that an investigation will come only after the Senate has concluded its own legislative inquiry.

“It’s still in the Senate. So, further investigation is being done to validate the existence of the so-called GCTA for sale. I do not have the facts before me but I tend to believe that is a very real possibility,” he said.

“(D)efinitely. That (GCTA irregularities) will be part of the investigation because after we have completed the guidelines or even before that, I intend to conduct an inquiry into what’s going on at the BuCor in connection with the GCTA allowances,” Guevarra said.

The DOJ, he said, will screen names and whoever is designated as officer-in-charge (OIC) should be able to handle the present crisis at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Guevarra added that the OIC might come from within the BuCor but said a more permanent appointee might be an outsider.

“I hope when the President makes his permanent appointment, he will choose someone from the outside. Fresh blood will be infused to the BuCor. But for purposes of designating an OIC, it’s got to be competent from the inside para alam na niya (so that he already knows) what’s going on. Mahirap ‘yung OIC mangangapa (It would be difficult if the OIC is not privy to the matter) at this very critical stage. We need somebody who is very knowledgeable,” he said.

In a Senate hearing late Thursday, Yolanda Camelon, common-law wife of an inmate at the NBP, disclosed the “GCTA for sale” scheme allegedly being run by some prison officials.  Benjamin Pulta / PNA –