MANILA - Sen. Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa said Tuesday he signed release orders of around 120 heinous crime convicts under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law during his term as chief of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
"Mga 120 (release orders) or less yung aking napirmahan," Dela Rosa told radio DZMM, referring to GCTA applications, which shortens a convict's prison time based on good conduct.
(I signed more or less 120 release orders.)
"Puro 'yun heinous crimes. Lahat yun, under heinous crimes," said the lawmaker, who headed BuCor from April 2018 to October 2018.
(They're all heinous crime convicts. All of them are under heinous crimes.)
When asked if he tried to stop the release because of the gravity of the offenses committed by the convicts, Dela Rosa said, "Ano magawa ko? Sinasabi ng batas na kailangan sila makalabas." (What can I do? The law says they have to be released.)
Republic Act 10592, which contains the provision on the GCTA, was passed in 2013 under then President Benigno Aquino III with the goal of decongesting prisons and giving a second chance to reformed convicts.
Around 1,900 prisoners convicted of heinous crimes were granted early release since 2014 under GCTA, previous reports said.
According to BuCor data, most of those released, 797 convicts were murderers, 758 were rapists, 274 committed robbery with violence or intimidation, 48 were drug convicts, 29 committed parricide, 5 were convicted of kidnapping with illegal detention, and 3 committed destructive arson.
The implementation of the R.A. 10592 has been under intense scrutiny lately after the justice department (DOJ) announced that convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez might be released from imprisonment because of supposed good behavior.
The DOJ and the Department of Interior and Local Government have already suspended processing of GCTA applications amid a review of the rules.
- With reports from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News