Amidst the controversy over the cancelled release of the convicted rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez, Sen. Panfilo Lacson revealed yesterday that there were already four convicted Chinese drug traffickers released from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) since June.
Sen. Lacson also said he got the names of some of the convicts who were released, wherein four of them are Chinese drug traffickers.
“These are the names of Chinese nationals who were recently released from imprisonment at the Building 14 of maximum security compound of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) this June 2019. They are Chan Chit Yue, Kin San Ho, Ching Che and Wu Hing Sum,” Lacson said as he suspects some anomalies regarding the release of these people.
“I’m getting more details from my source at the NBP,” Lacson said during his interview with Philippine Star.
“Recently released [from the] maximum security compound June 2019. Not just August to be transferred to BI [Bureau of Immigration]. All these Chinese drug lords had been convicted for violation of illegal drug laws.”
“They were released to the custody of the BI for possible deportation. But these are convicted Chinese drug lords that have already been released as of Aug. 16,” Lacson revealed.
BuCor to BI
According to the BuCor officials, prisoners who were released because of their good conduct or other reasons could not be identified.
However, BI officials confirmed Lacson’s findings about the four Chinese who were turned over to their agency on June 26.
BI deputy spokesman and chief of the national operations, Melvin Mabulac, validated that BuCor turned over five Chinese convicts to them — who are currently detained at the BI’s detention facility in Taguig City with pending deportation proceedings.
Mabulac also verified the four Chinese identified by Lacson and then named the fifth Chinese criminal as Hu Wai Tang.
Mabulac said the deportation order of the five Chinese was already signed by the BI commissioner Jaime Morente and two BI deputy commissioners last Aug. 23, but he does not know the date of their deportation.
Meanwhile, Lacson said the release of the drug lords are among the issues to be discussed in the Senate, although he clarified that the whereabouts of the three convicted Chinese drug lords are unknown.
Only one convict was turned over to the BI, according to Lacson.
Amendment of GCTA
It is possible that the release of the drug lords is not based on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) under Republic Act 10592 if they were already freed in June.
As the implementation of the RA 10592 on July 1, the Supreme Court said all prisoners may qualify for the reduction of their sentence regardless of whether s/he is serving his/her sentence or undergoing preventive imprisonment.
“We’ll ask for the list. Right now I have a copy of some releases, names of releases. At least four of those released last Aug. 16 are Chinese drug lords,” Lacson said.
Based on that, Lacson mentioned they are securing a copy of the reported Aug. 20 release order of Sanchez that his family had been imposing, as they were already prepared to pick him up from NBP that day.
“If we take the word of the members of the family, there was a release order issued as of Aug. 20. They claimed mayor Sanchez was even fingerprinted.”
He added that even BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon admitted that there were 11,000 convicts who would be released in two months under the GCTA.
“And by his own admission, Faeldon said 11,000 prisoners are lined up for release.”
Lacson suspects this bulk release of prisoners that’s why he asks for a possible amendment of the RA 10592.
“That’s why maybe it’s subliminal or malicious or mischievous that (money changed hands). When we talk of 11,000 convicts to be released at P10,000 each or P5,000 each, you can just imagine the huge amount of money involved. I’m not saying it happened. But it is a possibility. You ask yourself why.”
Sen. Lacson said the Senate inquiry has this objective to target those NBP, and BuCor officials and employees who may have abused the implementation of the GCTA.