121 freed convicts surrender to PNP

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has received 121 heinous crime convicts who were released after they were granted good conduct time allowance (GCTA) which is credited against their prison term.

PNP spokesperson Bernard Banac said that as of Monday morning, 119 convicts surrendered to various police offices while two convicts surrendered to the Special Action Forces.

Of the total, 43 were convicted for rape, 38 for murder, 12 for robbery with homicide, five for robbery with rape, four for homicide and rape with homicide, and other various crimes.

Banac said 25 of the surrenderers have been turned over to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). They are still processing the others.

Banac said there were a total of 1,914 heinous crime convicts who were released through the GCTA based on the list that they obtained from their “source.”

The PNP has yet to get an official copy of the list of the released convicts from the BuCor.

For his part, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Guillermo Eleazar said they were advised by the BuCor to wait for the official list.

On September 4, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the convicts released through the GCTA to surrender to the police within 15 days or they will be subjected to police operations.

After the 15-day ultimatum, the PNP will activate its tracker teams to hunt down those who refuse to heed to Duterte’s order.

Duterte gave the recall order amid the alleged irregularities in the granting of GCTA.

The GCTA scheme, provided under Republic Act 10592, sparked public outrage after a release order was issued for former Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for the rape-slay of Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of her friend Allan Gomez in 1993.

Allegations of a "GCTA for sale" scheme by some BuCor personnel at the National Bilibid Prison were made during an ongoing Senate hearing.

Processing of GCTA applications have been suspended pending the review by the Justice and Local Government departments of the implementing rules and regulations.

The law says heinous crime convicts do not qualify for GCTA, but the implementing rules and regulations allow heinous crime convicts to avail of time allowance for good conduct.

A total of 1,914 heinous crime convicts have been released based on GCTA, including about 200 whose applications were processed after the Supreme Court ruled on the law's retroactive effectivity. (SunStar Philippines)


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