PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said on Thursday, August 22, that the impending release of around 11,000 inmates from the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) is not considered a national security concern.
“Well, after having served their time sa corrections naniniwala tayo na hindi naman sila security threat sa komunidad pero pag may krimen ulit na mangyari at ma-involved sila we will enforce the law and make arrest definitely. Sino man ang gagawa ng krimen ay dapat mapanagot sa batas whether sila galing sa corrections or ordinary citizens pag may nilabag na batas ay mananagot sa batas,” he said.
(They are not considered a security threat, but if they get involved again in a crime, we will have to enforce the law and definitely make an arrest. Whoever commits a crime has to answer for it.)
“’Yun talaga ang purpose kaya they served time doon sa Bureau of Corrections (‘yung magbago sila) bilang bahagi ng ating criminal justice system naniniwala tayo na after serving their time, may pagbabago na naganap sa kanilang buhay at na-i-serve na nila ang kanilang punishment,” he added.
Banac said through the community, the government will be able to somehow monitor the former inmates particularly when they get involved again in illegal activities.
Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said 11,000 inmates will be released in the next two months because of a new law increasing good conduct time allowance (GCTA) and a Supreme Court (SC) decision applying the same law retroactively.
Among those who are qualified to be released is former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of Sarmenta's boyfriend Allan Gomez.
Sanchez was sentenced to seven counts of reclusion perpetua.
His possible release has sparked public outrage and is being questioned by the families of the victims.
Contraband, including suspected illegal drugs, were seized in Sanchez’s detention cell during various raids at the NBP maximum security compound. (SunStar Philippines)