Crime Does Not Pay
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – A convicted cattle rustler in Pangasinan recalled the hardship of being a detainee at the jail here and the years he spent at the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.
Jose de Guzman (not his real name) told Northern Watch Newspaper that aside from the skin diseases like galis (scabies) that afflicted him inside the Bureau of Jail, Management, & Penology (BJMP) here for his two years and two months detention, he slept squatting because the cement floor were filled with prisoners who lay like sardines because of congestion.
|HELL - The hellish existence of being a detainee in a Philippine prison.|
Photo Credit: News.comau
The BJMP’s buildings have been occupied by more than one thousand inmates despite the capacity of the dormitories there to occupy 300 detainees.
“Tatlong tabo lang ng tubig ang puwedi mong gamitin sa kada araw na ligo mo doon?”De Guzman lamented.
He said after being convicted by the Regional Trial Court here he was sent to the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa to serve the between 10 ten years and more than 17 years of sentence meted to him.
He cited that punishment by leaders of convicts to a violent prisoner was harsh.
De Guzman said if he hit an innocent prisoner, the Mayor’ or Dormitory Chief will summon them to hear who started the fracas.
The Mayor’ or Bise Mayor’ determined if the troublemaker offended his fellow prisoner.
“If the mayor or the vice mayor saw I committed the offense I was accused of, the Mayor’ or Bise Mayor’ will order the prisoners led by the Bastonero or Kulturero to force me in a prone position on the concrete pavement by holding my hands and feet for the punishment,” he stressed in Tagalog.
De Guzman said the Bastonero would hit his back legs with a dos por tres (2 by 3 size lumber) thrice as a form of punishment.
“That was the usual punishment they inflict to troublemaker,” he deplored.
De Guzman recalled that in year 2011 he was ordered by Anacleto Ladislao (not his real name) to steal a cow in San Jacinto, Pangasinan in exchanged of P2, 500.
He said at 7 pm he pulled the livestock to walk till dawn the 23 kilometers stretch to reach another village where Ladislao would give him his payment.
“But when I reached the village I saw him with some policemen”.
Even though he sneaked out from the peace officers he was still arrested several months later at his village when he was making charcoal he prepared to sell.
He was plucked to the BJMP here where he served for more than two years and until he was sent to the national jail in Metro Manila after the RTC convicted him of the felony he committed.
“Crime does not pay. I hope my narration will become a lesson that life in prison is hard and tough,” he lamented.