AT LEAST six convicts freed under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) have turned themselves in to authorities in Northern Mindanao since last week.
Police said the six convicts had committed heinous crimes such as murder, rape, rape with robbery, robbery with homicide and rape and arson.
Out of six, four surrendered in Bukidnon, one from Camiguin and another in Lanao del Norte.
The latest surrender was in Barangay Tongantogan, Valencia City, Bukidnon, over the weekend.
Police identified the convict as 61-year-old Elias Berdin, convicted of murder and frustrated murder in August 05, 1993.
Berdin was released from Iwahig Penal Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa, Palawan last July 16.
He is temporarily placed under custody of Valencia City Police.
Berdin is the second convict to surrender in Valencia City. Last week, convicted rapist and arsonist Larry Canunay also surrendered to authorities.
Lieutenant Colonel Surki Sereñas, Valencia City Police chief, said their surrender is proof of their respect for authority, but added that their release was in good faith.
“I am glad they heeded the President’s call to surrender. I believe their release was in good faith. It just so unfortunate that they have to be rearrested because of legal issues,” Sereñas said.
“They are already old and mellow. They also deserve to live normal lives with their families,” he added.
Brigadier General Rafael Santiago Jr., Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao director, has ordered his commanders on the ground to track and arrest the convicts released under GCTA law.
Santiago said tracker teams of every police stations should be prepared to do the task ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We will double our efforts to arrest and put them back in prison these subject personalities if they will not surrender on the specified period mentioned by the president to them,” Santiago said.
At present, Santiago said they are waiting for the list of the released convicts from the Bureau of Corrections, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, provincial, city, and municipal jail institutions “to start the plan in arresting these released personalities”.
Santiago, meanwhile, asks the public to help their local police in monitoring the released convicts.