33.3 C
Manila
Thursday, April 2, 2020
Home Opinion Op-Ed Columns Good money and right conduct

Good money and right conduct

ROLLY G. REYES

In a democracy, they say that to maintain peace is very expensive. Countries wage wars in a costly
manner to seek and preserve that much adored idea we call “freedom.” Our country was rocked by controversies surrounding our prisons. Traditionally, prisoners are able to get their freedom by staging prison breaks or serving their terms until they are granted clemency. A variety of options were unraveled when the name Antonio Sanchez surfaced and reported within grasp of flying out in a cage we call New Bilibid Prison. Social media went berserk, questioning the early release under questionable circumstances.

The time bomb exploded in no time, igniting several minefields around Muntinlupa’s walled penitentiary. Allegations flew like a thousand shrapnel hitting top personalities involved. The blast was loudly heard in the upper chamber, and the senators led by Sen. Richard Gordon’s blue ribbon committee started to unmask the controversy.


In between hearings, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon was very visible on the center of the radar screen. The marathon hearing gave credence to Elvis Presley’s lyrics when he sang:

“The warden threw a party in the county jail

The prison band was there and they began to wail

The band was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing

You should’ve heard them knocked-out jailbirds sing let’s rock.”

Yes indeed, the jailhouse rocked. This time, the writing on the wall was the acronym GCTA — the Good Conduct Time Allowance.

A whistleblower named Yolanda Camelon alleged that she gave P50,000 to Staff Sgt. Ramoncito Roque to facilitate the speedy release of her inmate husband based on the computative mechanism of GCTA. She claimed though that the promised freedom did not happen at all. At this point, Roque confirmed that Camelon and a companion visited his house, and that “he was forced to accept P10,000 and “returned” the money after a few days.

It was discovered then that the four Chinese drug lords and three suspects in the 1997 rape-slay of the Chiong sisters, were among those identified as freed under Faeldon’s term. Justice Secretary Menardo
Guevarra had to step in and give his legal opinion that those heinous crime convicts will be rearrested if they fail to return in 15 days. True to form, he promptly designated Melvin Ramon Buenafe as officer in charge of BuCoR. He was also asked to ensure the safekeeping all official records or documents that points to GCTA’s timeline of releases.

The public will take interest in this developing story to observe how government agencies will handle the
controversy up to the very end.

***

A multiple-murder case triggered an arrest order for supreme leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison and 30 others. The polar cap is melting fast, unraveling the often hidden practice of internal purging. Sison disputed this, of course. I hope the government will be deeply involved in gathering information from the family of the victims.

***

Hong Kong protesters are still at it. In a big way, China sees Hong Kong as the “Golden Gateway” to foreign direct investments. Some call it a launch pad to catapult these foreign biggies into the mainland — another instrument to tighten up China’s dream of global expansion.

Last Wednesday, Carrie Lam surprised the protesters by declaring that she was scrapping that unpopular extradition law that placed Hong Kong in state of turmoil for the past three months.

It was seen as a bid to deescalate the violence and tension gripping the territory. In spite of this move, most people did not believe Lam’s gesture and expressed the certainty of much prolonged efforts to fill up the streets. They are all saying that it is too late for everyone, as many have suffered at this point and time. It is the opinion of the world’s leaders that Hong Kong people are not really looking to end the conflict without Lam’s resignation, more meaningful reforms to preserve independence from Beijing’s
clutches.

***
Several EDSA coding suggestions were made in the past that made our day hilarious, sometimes spiced up with intermittent jaw drops and even allergies. Let us join the idiocy with some more:

M-W-F: Single
T-Th-S: Married
Sundays: Extramarital relationships

M-W-F: Straight
T-Th-S: Transgender
Sundays: Confused

M-W-F: Catholics and Christians
T-Th-S: INC, Muslims, El Shaddai, Dating Daan
Sundays: Atheists

M-W-F: Middle-aged and Millennials
T-Th-S: Seniors and persons with disablity
Sundays: 100 years and above

M-W-F: With sense of humor
T-Th-S: Serious
Sundays: Grumpies and Fault finders

M-W-F: With driver’s license
T-Th-S: Without driver’s license
Sundays: Any vehicle without garage

M-W-F: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo and Libra
T-Th-S: Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces
Sundays: Fortune Tellers and Feng-Sui experts

M-W-F: With money
T-Th-S: No money
Sundays: With money who pretends they have none.
***
The owner of famed French rooster Maurice emerged victorious on Thursday from a legal battle with her neighbors over his early-morning crowing, with a court upholding the bird’s right to sing in the day.
***
A quote to remember:
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
– Albert Einstein
***
Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.

Martial law not an option — Palace

Placing Luzon under martial law is not an option for the government to maintain public order, a Palace official said on Thursday, after President...

Sotto to NBI: We complied

Pasig City Mayor Victor Maria “Vico” Sotto on Wednesday hit the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for ordering him allegedly violating the Bayanihan to...

More evidence indicates healthy people can spread virus

NEW YORK: Scientists offered more evidence on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) that the coronavirus is spread by seemingly healthy people who show no clear...

Rowling starts Harry Potter At Home for housebound families

NEW YORK: J.K. Rowling is hoping a dash of Harry Potter will help families confined to their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. The author has...

Dolly Parton donates $1 million to coronavirus research

NASHVILLE, Tennessee: Country icon Dolly Parton is making a big donation to help fund coronavirus research, as well as taking time out every week...

Today's Front Page