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R.A. 10592 Good Conduct Time Allowance

DOJ stops manhunt vs released life termers as number of surrenderers exceeds BuCor’s list

in News/Tabloid PH News
DOJ stops manhunt vs released life termers as number of surrenders exceeds BuCor’s list
Image Credit: Department of Justice

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.

Surrenderers near 700 as De Lima refuses to answer Ombudsman query on GCTA IRR

in News/Tabloid PH News
Surrenderers near 700 as De Lima refuses to answer Ombudsman query on GCTA IRR

As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday (September 17), at least 692 convicts that were granted early release purportedly for good behavior have surrendered to authorities, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

These convicts, according to Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete, are among the 1,914 life termers that were freed due to the “erroneous” application of the good conduct time allowance of Republic Act (RA) 10592.

They heeded the call of President Duterte to surrender on or before September 19 or risk becoming the subjects of manhunt operations with accompanying bounty.

Perete said these convicts will have to serve out the remainder of their sentence, especially under the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 10592 that was signed by the Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano on Monday.

The new IRR clearly stated that escapees, habitual delinquents, recidivists and heinous crime convicts are excluded from the application of the GCTA benefits.

Around 22,000 prisoners have been granted early release since 2014 when RA 10592 was implemented.

However, based on the Senate inquiry into the GCTA application, some of these convicts did not deserve to be freed, as some benefited from what is now called “GCTA for sale”. This illegal scheme was uncovered in one of the Senate hearings, after a witness said Bureau of Correction (BuCor) officials demanded P50,000 from her in exchange for the early release of her husband.

Around 30 BuCor officials were already ordered suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman due to alleged involvement in this scheme.

Analysts say the ambiguity of the law and its IRR allowed the liberal application of the GCTA. This prompted the revision of the IRR so rules can be clarified while Congress is working on a revised version of the law.

Senator Leila De Lima, the DOJ secretary when RA 10592’s original IRR was crafted, has been asked by the Ombudsman to comment why they did not clearly exclude heinous crime convicts in the GCTA application.

She answered:  “[I] would like to clarify that I am no longer the Secretary of Justice. I am now a Senator of the Republic. I cannot in my official capacity as a Senator reply to a query that exclusively pertains to official business of the Department of Justice whose present Secretary is Menardo Guevarra.” 

De Lima, added in her three-page letter to the Office of the Ombudsman: “Whatever query you may have regarding the IRR, therefore, may be properly and officially answered by the DOJ and the DILG, being the institutions and agencies responsible for the implementation of said IRR.”

“It is not clear in your letter whether you are requiring me to do so in my personal capacity or in my capacity as Senator. Either way, I find no relevance in either capacities or as former Secretary of Justice to be able to officially annotate on the language of the IRR beyond what it provides in its provisions.”

Ombudsman recommends suspension, filing of charges vs 27 BuCor officials over GCTA mess

in News/Tabloid PH News
Ombudsman recommends suspension, filing of charges vs 27 BuCor officials over GCTA mess
Image Credit: @OmbudsmanPH / FB

The Office of the Ombudsman has recommended to the Department of Justice (DOJ) the suspension of 27 officials and personnel of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) over the “anomalous release” of heinous crime convicts using the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) provisions of Republic Act (RA) 10592.

Among those recommended for suspension for six months without pay were Ramoncito Roque, BuCor Documents and Record Section chief, and Corrections Senior Insp Ma. Belinda Bansil, who were identified by witnesses as behind the so-called “GCTA for sale” scheme during the Senate hearing on the controversy.

Also listed by Ombudsman Samuel Martires for suspension were:

  1. Benjamin Barrios, Supervisor, Board of Discipline, Maximum Security Camp
  2. Gerardo Padilla, Chief, NBP Superintendent
  3. Francisco Abunales, NBP, Superintendent
  4. Celso Bravo, Officer-in-Charge, Directorate for Security and Operations
  5. Melencio Faustino, Regional Superintendent, Davao Prison and Penal Farm
  6. Cherry Caliston, Chief, Documents Division, Davao Prison and Penal Farm
  7. Ruelito Pulmano, Inmate Documents and Processing Section
  8. Emerita Aguilar, Chief, Reformation and Rehabilitation Office
  9. Raymund Peneyra, Chief Overseer, Maximum Security Compound
  10. 10.Jomar Coria, NBP South Reformation Coordinator for Education and Training, Maximum Security Compound
  11. Roy Vivo, COG, Maximum Security Compound
  12. 12.Wilfredo Bayona, Deputy Superintendent, NBP South Maximum Security Compound
  13. 13.John Edward Basi, Assistant Chief, Reformation and Rehabilitation Office, Maximum Security Compound, NBP
  14. 14.Abel Dr. Ciruela, Commander of the Guard -Management, Screening and Evaluation Committee, Maximum Security Compound
  15. 15.Roger Boncales, Directorate for Security and Operations -NBP North
  16. 16.Eduardo Cabuhat, OIC Training and Education Office
  17. 17.Dr. Lourdes Razon, Medical and Dental Office
  18. 18.Mary Lou Arbatin, Chief, Behavior Mod. Office
  19. 19.Susana Ortega, OIC, Prison Industry Office, Maximum Security Compound
  20. 20.Anthony Omega, OIC, Sports and Recreation Office, Maximum Security Compound
  21. 21.Antonio Calumpit, OIC, Overseer, Maximum Security Compound
  22. 22.Roberto Rabo, Superintendent, NBP
  23. 23.Jones Lanuza, Deputy Superintendent for Reformation, NBP
  24. 24.Victor de Monteverde, Chief, Alternative Learning System, Maximum Security Compound  and
  25. 25.Veronica Buño, Custodial Officer, NBP

Martires asked the DOJ to effect their suspension within five days. They will also be charged with grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

“The office finds that the evidence in the form of testimonies of witnesses and public documents showing the anomalous release of prisoners convicted of heinous crimes appear to be strong,” Martires said in his six-page decision issued on Monday (September 9).


in Opinion
BUCOR's Chief Faeldon, summoned by the Senate

Manila – GCTA  Suspended, Senate step – in to clarify.

Malacañang Palace will go after to some officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) who are responsible for the release of 22 high profile convicted for drug trafficking, kidnapping with ransom, Murder, Rape with murder, carnapping and parricide (including those Chinese, convicted for drug trafficking, fowarded to Immigration for deportation) due to misinterpretation of R.A. 10592 Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law.

The information published due to uproar of the public after the announcement that convicted for 7 counts for murder and rape, former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez is possible to be released.

In my personal opinion:

I honestly believe that R.A. 10592 passed by the 15th Congress and signed into law by former President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino on May 29, 2013, with a clean conscience and clear mind that objectively, those who will be granted earlier release are only those who are qualified in accordance with the provisions of the said law.

The case of Antonio Sanchez and those who were granted liberty due to GCTA, which is now the subject of Senate Inquiry, scheduled tommorow, wherein the subpoena has been sent to BUCOR Chief Faeldon.

The said Senate Inquiry will enlighten the public, what is/are the provision/s of that law, which seems confussing and disadvantageous to the best interest of Filipino majority. And to what point some Bucor officials has made it more conflicated and/or incomprehensible.

Ironically, the implementation of the GCTA law has been temporarily suspended, a bad news to those PDL (persons deprived of liberty) convicted of minor offense, who are incarcerated to provincial, city and municipal jails, their expectations to be reunited with their loved one are impossible to happen before Christmas Season, having said so, congested jail will be come more problematic.


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