MANILA (March 19) –Former Zamboanga del Norte Romeo Jaloslos was freed today from the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) after serving his sentence for only 13 years. He was previously meted out two life terms for raping an 11-year-old girl in 1996.
Last year, after serving a jail term of only 12 years, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo commuted his sentence to 16 years, three months and three days. This was further reduced to 13 years, five months and 15 days due to the former congressman’s “good conduct” behavior.
Oscar Calderon, Bureau of Corrections director, confirmed his release from prison after he was informed this morning by Superintendent Ramon Reyes. He said Jaloslos requested him to make his release a low-key affair and not to be presented to the media yet since he would be holding a press conference of his own at 2 p.m.
Although many of his inmates at the NBP say Jaloslos did so many things to improve the physical conditions in the national penitentiary out of his own money, other critics also say that the former congressman represents gaps in the justice system. Many wondered what message President Arroyo was giving to women who are vulnerable to all forms of violence.