Friday, August 17, 2012

Business as usual in jail

In 1996, Rolito Go was sentenced by the Pasig Regional Trial Court to reclusion perpetua, or a maximum of 30 years imprisonment for the death of Eldon Maguan, a La Salle Engineering student, in Greenhills, San Juan. Fast forward to 2012 (or sixteen years later): News reports say that Go has been engaging in various business activities, ranging from moneylending to mining, while staying inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City. (

Now the question is, “Can he actually and legally engage in business while in prison and serving his sentence?”

The Revised Penal Code explicitly provides that the penalties of reclusion perpetua (20 years and 1 day to 40 years) and reclusion temporal (12 years and 1 day to 20 years) carry with them the accessory penalty, among others, of civil interdiction.

The Revised Penal Code states that, “Civil interdiction shall deprive the offender during the time of his sentence of the rights of parental authority, or guardianship, either as to the person or property of any ward, of marital authority, of the right to manage his property and of the right to dispose of such property by any act or any conveyance intervivos.” Civil interdiction is a restriction on capacity to act, according to the New Civil Code. A person suffering from the penalty of civil interdiction is deemed, declares the Revised Rules of Court, an “incompetent.”

With the deprivation of his right to manage his property or business being absolute and mandatory, how and why Go was able to build and conduct his businesses inside the NBP, if indeed it is true, is something that only its officials can explain.


  1. You're welcome and thanks for dropping by.

  2. Not entirely prohibited. That only means that he has no legal personality to enter into a transaction. However, whoever administers his assets is not prohibited from administering said assets under his express direction and control under a private agreement between the two. In other words, nothing stops the administrator from following Rolito Go's "advice". This may be why he claims, as a layman, that he has a "business" while incarcerated in Bilibid.

  3. You're right in a practical sense, Francis. The issue, however, is can he actually and legally engage in business while in prison and serving his sentence? That's where the concept of incompetence under the law comes in. Thanks for the comment.