MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, September 17, called on the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to implement the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10592 or the expanded Good Conduct Time Allowance Law.
"We exhort the officials of the BuCor to study the new IRR and transmit the correct and up-to-date information to their staff for their proper guidance," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
"We hope that the revisions and corrections made in the instrument would address the inaccuracies, as well as the loopholes of its earlier version which generated confusion among the officials in implementing the law, and the corresponding backlash of the public against them," he added.
Panelo issued the statement a day after the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed the revised IRR of RA 10592, which raises the GCTA credits.
The GCTA credits are granted to convicts with good behavior and slashed from their prison terms.
The IRR was revised following the controversial early release of heinous crime convicts who allegedly erroneously benefited from the 2013 law.
Under the revised IRR, all "recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapists, and those convicted of heinous crimes" are not eligible to benefit from the GCTA.
The revised IRR also adopts the definition of heinous crimes enumerated in RA 7659 or the Death Penalty Law and the Supreme Court jurisprudence.
Under the Death Penalty Law, heinous crimes are murder, rape, big-time drug trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, treason, piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, infanticide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, robbery with violence or intimidation, qualified vehicle theft, and destructive arson, and plunder.
Panelo said the Palace lauded the respective heads of the DOJ and the DILG for the prompt completion of the new IRR of the GCTA law, especially since the previous IRR does not exclude heinous crime convicts from availing of sentence deductions for good conduct.
"Now, Rule IV, Sections 1 and 2 of the revised IRR made it very clear and categorical that those PDLs convicted of or charged with heinous crimes shall not be entitled to any sentence deduction based on Good Conduct Time Allowance under Republic Act No. 10592," he said.
"The revised IRR likewise adopted the definition of heinous crimes under the provisions of Republic Act No. 7659, as amended, otherwise known as the Death Penalty Law, and those crimes specifically declared as such by the Supreme Court. This leaves the enforcers of the law with no room for confusion," Panelo added.
Panelo also noted that pursuant to the Duterte administration’s commitment for transparency, a Management Screening and Evaluation Committe are now mandated to invite representatives from the Parole and Probation Administration the National Prosecution Service, and accredited civil society organizations as observers during deliberations of granting of expanded GCTA. (SunStar Philippines)