121 teams to begin manhunt for freed convicts after September 19

(File Photo)

A TOTAL of 121 tracker teams will be mobilized by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to locate and arrest the freed heinous crime convicts who will not have surrendered by September 19, a police official said.

CIDG Deputy Director Bernabe Balba said each tracker team will be composed of five personnel.

"Nag organize na agad tayo ng mga teams ng CIDG sa bawat regional offices sa mga provinces at cities. Meron na tayong mga organized na mga team (and) even before the deadline ay tumutulong na tayo na ma-locate at meron din namang namang nagsu-surrender,” he said.

Balba said the tracker teams will start the manhunt for the convicts after September 19, the end of the 15-day deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte for convicts released based on good conduct to turn themselves in while the law’s implementing rules and regulations are still being reviewed.

He said they have already obtained the list of the convicts together with their last known addresses.

As of 6 a.m. Sunday, September 15, PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said 431 released convicts have surrendered to the PNP.

Of the number, 252 have already been turned over to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

He said 138 of the surrenderers were convicted for murder,130 for rape, 42 for robbery with homicide, 28 for homicide, 14 for rape with homicide, 9 for robbery with rape, 18 for violation of the anti-drugs law and eight for parricide.

A total of 1,914 heinous crime convicts have been released as of August 13, 2019.

Not all 1,914, however, were released based on good conduct time allowance (GCTA), which grants a convict credits that may be used to shorten his prison sentence.

Some were granted parole while others were pardoned.

Duterte ordered the recall of the freed convicts following reports on alleged irregularities in the implementation of the GCTA law.

The Senate is conducting an inquiry in aid of legislation while the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Justice are reviewing the implementing rules.

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman suspended 30 BuCor personnel for six months without pay pending the results of its own investigation. (SunStar Philippines)


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