THE NAPOLES LIST IN THE PRISON ROLL
It’s a pity that I will retire in a few months in the prison service. The succeeding months would have been the most exciting, the most scholastically rewarding period, the most satisfying judicial exposure I would really partake. And why not?
In retrospect, during my earlier days in prison administration, I trained one prisoner to maintain my office. His case was falsification of public documents. He declared falsely on several days his attendance on the Daily Time Record despite the fact that he was absent. He duped government the amount of P150.00 for claiming in his salary when it should have been deducted. His sentence is 5 years.
Now, we have people on the so called Napoles list, they who allegedly duped government a staggering amount, not in lowly small denomination but in BILLIONS! Naturally, when the course of justice would be banged on them, serving time in prison is almost an automatic consequence. Like prominent offenders who were labelled as drug lord, gambling lord, kidnap kingpin before them, media would have already coined a name for the group. This could be conveniently referred to as a the Napoles gang to start with like those who figured in the massacre of a frat brother who were later dubbed as UP Boys since all of them were Frat members from the State University.
Since, these class of offenders are celebrities in their own right, they will be institutionally reckoned not only as high-risk (meaning, they are prey in the community of felons) but also as high-risk (since they are also leaders with influence and resources the prison community could consider). Like famous thespians before them (the likes of Robin Padilla, Eddie Fernandez, Berting Labra, Rommel Padilla —father of heartthrob Daniel Padilla), or politicians (Congressmen Junior de Guzman, Romeo Jalosjos, Governor Orlando Dulay, Antonio Leviste, Mayor William Wagas, etc), or Military officers (General Jose Garcia, General Reynaldo Berroya, Colonel Robert Maclang, Colonel Rafael Cardeno..) they will be joining the ranks in the maximum wing of the National Penitentiary. And it would a feast for researchers in the field of anthropology and penal psychology like me.
I wanted to take note of how their minds would work in such a blight situation. Reputation in tatters, would they be able to contain a highly charged and emotionally laden facility where the dominant theme is routine, restrictions and repentance. There is also humiliation and repugnance as characteristic environmental attribute. There is gross familiarity. Friendship is offered with conditions and treachery with intrigue the order of the day. This is on top of highly congested environment, highly volatile interpersonal relationships and a highly sensitive population.
Since it has been said that these people are moneyed, whether it has been laundered or worked, whether it has been pocketed as alleged or merely was passed on as inheritance, whatever, money will flow inside the prison community. It is the only antidote to violence. They know it first hand. And so prison administration has all the time at the moment in the world to adjust.
First, it must construct additional facilities to remedy overcrowding. And second, money should be regulated if not declared as contraband.