(SEPTEMBER 20, 2019) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday announced that at least 2,009 inmates initially released under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law have surrendered, noting that the number is a hundred more than the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) list of freed heinous crime convicts.
DOJ Undersecretary Markk Perete said 1,773 went straight to the BuCor while another 236 are in the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP). The disparity meant some inmates convicted of non-heinous crimes but were released through good conduct credits also turned themselves in.
“We are, in the meantime, expediting the process of cleaning up that list to make sure that only those who should be included will remain in the list to be used by the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their re-arrest,” Perete said in a press briefing.
Some ex-convicts, like road rage killer Rolito Go, were included in the list despite having served his sentence. Go was released not because of GCTA but due to an order by the Supreme Court, but an PNP tracker team still searched for Go.
Some 41 ex-convicts who were given presidential pardon or parole were also included in the list, while others who surrendered were not even in the BuCor’s list.
The former inmates are staying at the minimum security area of the New Bilibid Prison. Some did not want to leave jail without an official certification from the BuCor. The DOJ said it is addressing the concern of proper documentation “as fast as [it] could.”
“We do understand it would be unfair for them to be detained one day longer. But understand that this is an operational problem,” Perete said.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued a 15-day deadline for heinous crime convicts released through a faulty GCTA to turn themselves in, amid confusion on its implementation and the rampant corruption inside the BuCor. (Randell Ritumalta/JMF)