The Journalistic View

Bilibid Scandal: When The Evil Forces Are Unstoppable

bucor The Bureau of Corrections in the Philippines is one of the most controversial agencies in the country. Yet, its leadership has been trying their best to effect much needed reforms. However, it is said that the more you attempt to hinder the evil forces, the harder they will push their greedy intentions.


Rolito Gone and Found.
 
High-risk inmate, Rolito Go, was said to be abducted inside the NBP compound in Muntinlupa City. He was later abandoned by the suspects in Batangas. But some believed that he had escaped. Go will be freed next year, so why would he take the risk of escaping which would only further his sentence? If he escaped, why would he returned to the authorities? He has a history of escaping but was re-arrested after several years. For an old man with a stage 4 colon cancer, it will be hard to keep hiding and running.
 
Abducted – PNP, DOJ
 
The Philippine National Police and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed that Go was abducted. The Secretary even said that kidnappings and extortions inside NBP compound actually happening before but this doesn’t mean that the NBP officials are off the hook. Some would still have liabilities and there are officials who already sacked from their positions after the “kidnapping” incident.
 
Prior to this, Director Gaudencio Pangilinan handed to me a statement last June 2012, which he only intended to share his thoughts about managing the corrections service. Note: Pangilinan took an indefinite leave of absence to prevent him influencing investigations on the incident.

Managing The Bureau of Corrections Is Not Easy – Director Gaudencio Pangilinan

The phrase is not an expression of exasperation; it is rather a discovery of a fact. It is not a wailing cry of desperation; but rather a confirmation of something never before accepted as a reality.

And why is it not easy to manage an agency despite all the rules, powers and authorities in its command arsenal? It is in the overall picture of its environment. Unlike plants, unlike animals, unlike any other governmental concern, managing the most dangerous sector of society – the so called insular prisoners projects so much stress to the point that nothing is correct in the scale of administering fairly their community. It is neither hot nor cold; neither here nor there; neither good nor bad; neither proper nor improper. Either an officer is exceptionally a genius person or abnormally intelligent to justify the right way in managing the affairs of prison administration.

The Bureau of Corrections is one such agency one finds at the cross roads of a scandal.

If there is no news that could grab public attention, one can find something in prison worth jolting the hell out of stability. For sure there are numerous instances in the prison community that is worth a moment’s notice. If the mood is something that would require empathy for the down trodden, there are alleged cases to be slapped on prison officials. If the prevailing sentiment is against the offenders, there are incidents that could be divulged against prison denizens. In both instances, the prison administrator’s neck is usually on the line. This is where sensationalism comes, that is where the news item becomes a regular highlighted feature, something that sells the newsprint, something that is projected on television, something one follows up on radio. And the Bureau of Corrections, whether it is in its star to be exposed or not, is always there are as an exciting filling material.

Any administrator worth his salt would find this stark reality as soon as he gets into ground work. NO amount of work ethics can drive the prison community— officers included, into the tailspin of real committed work. Resistance is etched in every corner of the prison camp. Tradition is almost embossed in the granite walls of the community. To reform is like calling to arms as in war. Yet changes must be done. Several prison administrations have dedicated itself in the past only to be waylaid by indifference later. Result: the prison service remained static, recluse and worst, a benchmark for incompetence. And there lies the challenge. Change must occur, innovation must start somewhere. Corrections must regain its real meaning.

The process is not a walk in the park. It is, to borrow today’s lingo, complicated. Change demands sacrifice. While not all improvements result in change, all changes result in improvement. And the prison service is still undecided to fulfill change notwithstanding the enforcement of leadership. Attitude remains the biggest challenge and it must turn into a crusading spirit. It must be guided tour for real change, a clear direction to be reached.

And the first step is having a good grasp of where to go. That explains the significance of the BuCor roadmap. It has to be adopted, embraced, and totally appreciated from the heart.

Relax and Lax?
 
The allegations of special privileges and treatments to some inmates can be true or not. Past Bucor and NBP administrations were also hurled by this kind of controversy. It was like a hard-to-remove tradition, but unfair to most of the prisoners. Go may have been given living-out privileges, but it is because he’s due to be freed in few months and a humanitarian consideration on his sickness.
 
So how Go was abducted if the security measures at the NBP are enough? That is now under investigation by the authorities. But for a strong-willed syndicate, nothing is impossible.
 
Angry Syndicates.
 
One cannot pleased everybody. Resistance of some groups who are in a long-time has been benefiting from the corrupt system of the national penitentiary are expected. They may not only resisting to reforms, they want the man behind the transformations OUT, in any means and they will not stop until they succeed.
 
 
 
 







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