Oxymoron country


“MILITARY intelligence” is the preferred oxymoron — the contradiction in terms most favored — by activists, human rights workers, and some academics. But that martial law classic may yet yield to these more recent gems, courtesy of the Bureau of Corrections: “living-out prisoner,” and the even more intriguing “sleeping-out prisoner.”

That there are indeed such prisoners in this earthly paradise of fish kills and illiterate congressmen who trivialize discussions on reproductive health and divorce seems to have caught a lot of bureaucrats, most of them from the Department of Justice, by surprise. And yet it’s one of the worst-kept secrets in this country, which means it’s hardly a secret at all: a convicted felon can still enjoy the amenities of home in his own made- to- order condo-hut without being locked up in a cell, and in some cases can even leave the prison compound for his Makati office to check his mail, or even to implement the terms of a murder contract.

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