Several Bureau of Correction (BuCor) officials are raking in money from the so-called hospital referral official pass issued to inmates to facilitate their transfer to the hospital or medical facilities due to their purported medical condition.
A report by Emil Sumangil on GMA News' 24 Oras revealed the account of a BuCor employee about how inmates who have money can buy their way out of the congested jails into the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) hospital in the guise of being sick.
The report came in the wake of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) mess, which allowed close to 2,000 inmates to be prematurely released.
President Rodrigo Duterte has fired BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon due to the controversy and ordered all freed inmates to return to the New Bilibid Prisons.
"Hindi pipitsuging amount ang pinag-uusapan natin dito, umaabot ito ng milyon. Pag nag-request sila ng medical, pinapadala sila sa ospital," the GMA source said in the exclusive report.
The BuCor employee, added: "Itong sakit na ito ng Bucor, hindi yan magagamot hangga’t hindi natin ilalagay ang mga tao na nakakaalam ng problema. Katulad niyan, ang korapsyon paulit-ulit na lang."
According to the source, bigtime drug lords, including those detained at the maximum security compound, have taken advantage of this passes to get out of jail.
The "fee" for the hospital referral pass will take care of tampered medical record, which will make it appear that the inmate is sick and should be transferred to a less-congested facility "for health reasons."
"Pag nailagay na sila sa medium, ipa-process naman sila para malipat sa minimum. Pagdating sa minimum, mayroong mga empleyado na magcu-custody, sila ang naglalabas ngayon sa mga PDL (persons deprived of liberty) na ito," the source said.
"Yan ang usual process," the source added.
Meanwhile, the report said that the GCTA and hospital referral official pass controversy also happen in prison facilities, not just at the New Bilibid Prisons.
According to an inmate at the Abuyog Penal Colony in Leyte, prison officials receive money to facilitate the early release of some convicts.
"3 thousand, 5 thousand, o yung iba magbibigay lang ng 1 thousand," the inmate said.
"Parang ilalagay ka sa pinaka buntot ganun. Di tulad pag magbibigay ka ng pera, talagang sure na sure ka, mauuna ka pa," he added.
The inmate said he has served longer than his sentence but is still in jail because he has no money to nudge the BuCor officials to review his records.
"Sana naman, pagbigyan din kami na makalaya po rito, dahil kailangan na namin makasama ang aming pamilya," the inmate said. —LDF, GMA News