HIGH PROFILE DETAINEES
The arrest of real estate tycoon Delfin Lee sometime last March 6, 2014 could have unwittingly signalled the succeeding capture of other celebrity fugitives. The recovery of former military official, major general Jovito Palparan Jr. came in a few months after, August 12, 2014 as if a sequel to the surrender of celebrity politicians after the issuance of arrests warrants were served by the courts. We have in detention Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla and expectedly to be followed by a number of politicians if government pronouncements on those linked with the Napoles scam would be prosecuted, charged and convicted too.
Once the courts could muster enough evidence in prosecuting the cases and if facts and verified truth filed properly and shown that indeed there was a crime committed, there would be conviction. There will be a flow of mitimus (court orders) into the prison system. The subsequent admission of celebrity personalities into the prison community would definitely be a game changing experience not only to the prison community but also for prison administration.
As it were, the prison bureau is already saddled with a litany of challenges as yet to be fully addressed. There is congestion in all prison and penal farm all over the country, there are hazards and risks in manning patrol and various security postings, hostilities among deranged individuals are ever present, discontentment are all over the place. Truly, unlike in seminaries, leprosaria or soldiers barracks and other total institutions, admission in prison is involuntary.
The influx of celebrity personalities in the usually staid, sedate and laid back prison community would indeed excite the area. Not necessarily because the celebrities are one of a kind, as a matter of fact, ordinary prisoners would treat them as ordinary like them also, but on the number of visitors that would animate day time and remove the usual dross and stupor of incarceration. It is the influx of attention the prison community gets as a consequence of the celebrity presence.
Although at the onset, the attention is some kind of a negative force; the subsequent events that would follow would be balanced and favourable to the rest of those in the prison setting. While public clamour insist on a retributive way of handling infamous celebrity prisoners as a result of their notoriety, courtesy of media bashing pronouncements, there are also expression of pity and sympathy expressed along the way, as in projecting the way to extend assistance to an infirmed and disabled and visitor-less prisoner.
But the most touching part of life in prison is not much on the kind of characters that were lumped and heaped inside a cramp facility. It is how those with resources would share with those who do not have anything at all. This is one place where offenses while discussed in passing are non issues. It is the kind of respect one confers on another that counts. Injustice is never a topic at all unless it borders on regaining freedom.
High profile detainees in time will become ordinary, commonplace, regular guy in the prison setting. It is only in surviving, in keeping their wits intact that they can, in the final analysis, believe that indeed they are really high profile ones or in their realization some kind of an empty bucket.