August 25, 2019 – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is eyeing the possible suspension of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) for inmates, Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday.
This came after the reversal of the possible early release of former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez who is convicted of rape and murder of Mary Eileen Sarmenta and her boyfriend Allan Gomez in 1993.
“We’re considering the need for temporarily suspending the processing of GCTAs till the BuCor guidelines have been thoroughly reviewed and firmed up,” Guevarra said in a text message.
“We’ll decide next week,” he added.
Earlier, Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon said that Sanchez may walk free from prison together with 11,000 other inmates who were all qualified for early release under the Republic Act No. 10592 or the GCTA law.
Meanwhile, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros hailed the reversal of Sanchez’s release as “people’s victory.”
“In a time of flip flop politics, the people’s consistent vigilance and media’s strong sense of history has kept Sanchez, an unrepentant and habitual criminal, behind bars,” she said.
Hontiveros also noted that “RA 10592 is a good law” which is consistent with the principles of “retroactive justice.”
“Ito ay tagumpay ng mapagmatyag na mamamayan, hindi ng mga baligtarin at kakampi ng mga abusado,” the Akbayan senator added.