Justice Undersecretary and spokesman Mark Perete announced over radio stations on Friday (September 20) that the manhunt against all heinous crime convicts who were granted early release has been put on hold pending a review of the list of freed prisoners submitted by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Perete, in separate interviews with DZMM and DZBB, alerted the police and other government authorities that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided to suspend operations to re-arrest the released life termers who failed to answer the call of President Duterte for them to surrender on or before September 19.
The reason for this is the apparent mistakes made on the list of heinous crime convicts that were released by the BuCor due to the liberal application of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) provisions of Republic Act (RA) 10592.
Perete said records they have gathered from concerned state agencies showed that the number of PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) who surrendered to authorities as of Thursday midnight already reached 1,950. This is already above the 1,914 life termers who were listed by the BuCor.
“Tinanong namin sa Bureau of Corrections at that point na paano nangyari na mas marami yung actual surrenderers than those included in the list,” he said in the DZBB interview. “So ngayon because of that we requested our PNP (Philippine National Police) to hold yung kanilang rearrest kasi kailangan na naming linisin ngayon yung original na list ng Bureau of Corrections.”
Authorities have shown eagerness to implement the order of Duterte to re-arrest the freed life termers who would fail to meet his September 19 deadline to surrender. The President also offered a P1-million bounty.
The National Capital Region Police Office, for instance, announced that it would be deploying its tracker teams for the manhunt operation.
Aside from suspending the manhunt, Perete said the DOJ also wants the authorities to release all those who surrendered but were not on the BuCor list.
He told DZMM there are already at least 40 surrendered PDLs that should be released immediately. These are those who were already granted pardon or parole.