MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will "immediately" locate heinous crime convicts that have been freed from prison under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law, in wake of President Rodrigo Duterte's order to the convicts to surrender.
"Tracker teams will now be deployed to locate these convicts, who will be treated as fugitives if they choose not to surrender," the PNP said in a statement Wednesday.
The PNP also said it will "receive and account" those who will surrender within 15 days given to them by Duterte to show up.
Duterte earlier ordered the convicts to surrender to the nearest police station or to the military, saying if they refuse to surrender, the government would consider them as fugitives.
"As fugitives from justice, these convicts can be subjected to warrantless arrest," the PNP said.
Duterte offered a P1 million bounty per heinous crime convict who refuses to surrender.
The President said, however, that convicts who will surrender will not be sent back to prison "because there was really a release order.” He even requested them to help in the probe on the anomalies in the implementation of the GCTA law.
Data from the Bureau of Corrections showed that a total of 1,914 heinous crime convicts were released through the law since 2014.
The implementation of Republic Act 10592, which contains provisions of GCTA, has come under scrutiny after the justice department announced that convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez might be released from prison because of supposed good behavior.
- With a report from Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News