Convicted Child Rapist Romeo Jalosjos A Free Man
Former Zamboanga Del Norte congressman Romeo Jalosjos, now 67 years old, walked out of the National Bilibid Prison in southern metropolitan Manila’s Muntinglupa City today a free man, the beneficiary of executive clemency.
While the wealthy Jalosjos was meted two life terms (equivalent to 80 years imprisonment) for raping an 11 year-old girl he has actually been in jail for 10 or 13 years, depending on what records are followed, and quite several of those years has been spent as a ‘living out prisoner.
This meant he was not really in a penitentiary jail cell but was free to drive around the prison’s sprawling ‘reservation’ in his 8-cylinder Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle.
The National Bilid Prison ‘reservation’ includes its own residential village called Katarungan [Justice].
In Katarungan, erstwhile prisoner Jalosjos Jalosjos bought a house and lot where he has stayed since he became a live-out inmate a few years ago.
Jalosjos financed the construction of a first-class gymnasium inside the maximum prison complex. He hired chefs of two five-star hotels to teach the inmates to bake cakes and pastries. Freed convicts now work as bakers in the three branches of QS Coffee and Bakeshop that Jalosjos owns.
The former congressman also built the Tennis Academy of the Philippines Foundation, an upscale club and resort-bar near his residence in Katarungan Village, located just beside Muntinglupa City’s gated Ayala Alabang Village.
When he was convicted, Jalosjos was ordered to pay his victim a total of 500,000 pesos in damages.
So as far as prison authorities and the rest of the government is concerned, factoring in his generosity an good behavior, Jalosjos has paid his debt to society.
The former congressman remained gainfully employed all this years, being one of the owners of TAPE,Incorporated, which produces ‘Eat Bulaga’, the Philippines’ longest-running noontime variety show on television hosted by his good friends Vic Sotto, Joey De Leon, and former Senator Tito Sotto who also heads of the Cabinet-level Dangerous Drugs Board.