More issues are coming out on the controversial early-release program for convicts. Here are the big stories making the headlines on ANC today:
Freedom for sale
More details are coming out surrounding allegations that good conduct time allowance (GCTA) are being sold to convicts' families. As of posting time, the Senate was holding late-night hearings on the controversy as a witness came forward to detail how the racket works. Will officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCOr) involved in the scheme face charges? The Ombudsman is set to conduct a probe into the GCTA controversy.
Return to prison
Some convicts who have been released due to GCTA have surrendered after President Duterte called on them to return to detention. What is the legal basis that will govern the process of their surrender? What is the legal basis for their re-arrest? The Justice Department said a warrant-less arrest is possible. Some legal experts insist a court order is required. The PNP said police can use force if a convict resists.
The Presidential legal counsel is in the middle of a maelstrom. After Salvador Panelo admitted to meeting members of the family of his former client, Antonio Sanchez, the Ampatuan family tried to visit Panelo, too. Datu Saudi Ampatuan Jr.'s mother sought the help of Panelo, according to the logbook of the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel. In a July 17 email, the Office of the President referred the Ampatuans to Panelo, who was once hired as their defense lawyer in 2014.
Ready to resign
The president will be in Cebu for a 4 p.m. groundbreaking event. At 7 p.m. he will be in Davao to inaugurate a new hotel. Earlier, he said he is ready to resign and face impeachment over the GCTA controversy.
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