MANILA -- Heinous crime convicts should not have been granted early release from prison under a 2013 law that expanded good conduct credits, its proponent said Friday.
A total of 1,914 prisoners convicted of heinous crimes like rape and murder have been granted early release since 2014, a year after the amendment of the good conduct time allowance law (GCTA), data from the Bureau of Corrections showed.
"Nag-provide sa aming House bills na na-consolidate sa Senate that klaro iyun, recidivist, ang mga nagko-commit pa rin ng kalokohan, habitual delinquents, persons charged with heinous crimes hindi kasama talaga iyun," said Cagayan De Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.
"We consider the feelings, papaano naman ang mga pamilya ng na-rape, pinatay," he added.
(Our House bills consolidated in the Senate clearly stated that recidivists who continuously commit offenses, habitual delinquents and persons charged with heinous crimes should be exempted. We consider the feelings, how about the families of those who were raped, killed.)
Former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for rape and murder in a 1990s crime that was among the most-followed in the country, was earlier reported to be eyeing early freedom on good conduct credits.
Rodriguez said he suspects that the BuCor has been "very lax" in computing GCTA credits.
The GCTA law, he admitted, did not give the justice department oversight powers over the early release of prisoners because the measure was approved a year before Sen. Leila De Lima, then secretary of justice, raided the national penitentiary in 2014 and uncovered the luxurious lifestyle of some convicts.
"Ang problema rin dito is the corruption aspect. Alam naman natin sa BuCor, marami nang na-expose d'yan," he added.
(The problem here is corruption, too. We know that a lot of anomalies there have been exposed.)
The House justice committee on Tuesday will investigate the CGTA's implementation, said Rodriguez, who serves as the panel's vice chairman.