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Convicted rapist Jalosjos freed after 13 years in prison


No sorry for the girl, but he vows to help inmates' kin When Romeo Jalosjos walked out of prison on Thursday, nobody heard him categorically saying sorry to the 11-year-old girl he raped 13 years ago. What he told media was that in his long stay in prison, he was able to develop a compassion for the wives and children of convicted inmates who themselves are imprisoned in poverty. "Kung may naghihirap, hindi kami... Naghihirap kami pero kaya namin. Ang talagang naghihirap na nakikita namin na kailangan ng tulong ay iyong mga naiwan, mga asawa, mga anak nila," Jalosjos said on Thursday at a press conference in a spa and wellness center within the National Bilibid Prison (NBP). [If someone is experiencing hardship, it's not us (prisoners). We experience it but we can make it through. The wives and children of inmates who need help are the ones who really suffer.] He said he would have a half-way house built at the NBP compound for the families of inmates so that it would be easier for them to visit their imprisoned fathers and husbands. "Alang-alang sa mga pamilya [mula] sa Mindanao, Visayas, at Luzon, sila iyong hindi makabisita dito...ang mahal ng pamasahe, so iyon ang bibigay ko sa kanila," said the former Zambonga del Norte representative who was convicted for raping an 11-year-old girl in 1996. [I will provide this for the sake of the families of inmates who could not go to the NBP because of expensive transportation expenses.] Jalosjos also said he would ask help from legislators in crafting a measure that would require the Department of Social Welfare and Development to make an "inventory" of the dependents of poor convicted inmates so that they could be provided of their basic needs. According to Jalosjos, the justice system is putrid because there are many inmates who should have been freed long ago but continue to rot in jail. He said that if the system continues, the consequences would be "irreversible." - GMANews.TV
MANILA, Philippines - He was sentenced to two life terms for raping an 11-year-old girl in 1996. But former Zambonga del Norte Rep. Romeo Jalosjos was freed after staying in jail for only 13 years. On June 12, 2007, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced the commutation of the former congressman's jail term to 16 years, three months, and three days. But this was further reduced to 13 years, five months and 15 days because of Jalosjos' good conduct time allowance. Bureau of Corrections director Oscar Calderon said Jalosjos was released on Thursday from the National Bilibid Prison (NBP). "Ngayong umaga, I was informed by Superintendent Ramon Reyes na nakalabas na si Congressman Jalosjos [This morning, I was informed by Superintendent Ramon Reyes that former Congressman Jalosjos was released already]," said Calderon. Jalosjos requested Calderon to make his release a low-key affair. "Kung puwede, huwag muna daw siyang iharap sa media. Meron daw siyang sinasabi na 2 p.m. may presscon [He requested not to be presented to the media yet. He was saying that he would be holding a press conference at 2 p.m.]. It was earlier reported that Jalosjos would be holding the press conference at a spa and wellness center within the NBP compound, which he owns. Mockery of justice To many of his inmates, and even NBP officials, Jalosjos is a good and benevolent man. He financed the construction of several establishments in the national penitentiary, which include a tennis court, a gymnasium, and a bakery inside the NBP's maximum security compound. Outside the complex, he had the Tennis Academy of the Philippines built, including a resto-bar in Katarungan village. But to his critics, Jalosjos embodies gaps in the justice system that often favors the rich and powerful. “Marso ngayon ano, supposedly Buwan ng Kababaihan. Mukhang ito yung mockery of justice na binibigay ni Ginang Arroyo. Walang remorse, walang pag-amin sa kasalanan niya (Jalojos). Paano na yung mga kababaihan na humihingi ng katarungan na ngayon ay vulnerable sa various forms of violence?" Emmi de Jesus, secretary-general of Gabriela, said in an interview on Thursday over GMA’s Unang Hirit. [Jalosjos’ release, which happens this Women’s Month, seemed to be a mockery of justice by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. (Convicted rapist) neither showed remorse nor admission of guilt. What about the welfare of the women who are vulnerable to various forms of violence?]. De Jesus also assailed Mrs. Arroyo, claiming that the latter got Jalosjos off the hook as a "payback" to the former congressman's support to her administration. De Jesus claimed that Jalosjos made big donations "in the 2004 and 2007 elections." “Si Jalosjos ay galing sa Zamboanga del Norte na nagbigay ng malaking pabor kay Ginang Arroyo noong nakaraang mga eleksiyon. Tingin namin, ito ay payback [Jalosjos, who hailed from Zamboanga del Norte gave a huge favor to Mrs. Arroyo during the past elections. We think that now it’s payback time]," she said. In a separate radio interview, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde scoffed at allegations that Malacañang was involved in Jalosjos’ impending release. Proper procedures “Dumaan ito sa tamang proseso. Again, may batas na kung ang isang convicted ay nakapag-serve ng sentence up to a certain time at may good behavior, eligible na for pardon [All this went through the proper procedures. Again, there is a law that when a convict served a sentence up to a certain time with good behavior, he is eligible for pardon]," he said on dzXL radio. On Wednesday, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the move to commute Jalosjos' jail term did not originate in Malacañang. “The initial recommendation comes from the BuCor, Bureau of Pardons and Parole, and then the process will be submitted to the Department of Justice which has the ministerial job of transmitting it to the Office of the President," Ermita said. - GMANews.TV
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