MANILA - A total of 1,914 convicts heinous crime convicts released for supposed good conduct remain unaccounted for, police said Monday.
As of Monday noon, 119 convicts have surrendered to police, with 25 turned over to the Bureau of Corrections, according to Philippine National Police spokesperson Bernard Banac.
Banac said they are still verifying reports that some convicts have fled the country. He earlier said the police might seek the help of the International Criminal Police Organization in arresting the convicts.
The PNP said their tracker teams are ready and are just waiting for the grace period to lapse before going after the convicts.
Human rights lawyers, however, said the order for the convicts' re-arrest should come from the courts and not government.
"They have to get an order from the court to arrest anybody. Not even the president today, not unlike during martial law, can order the deprivation of liberty of any individual," former senator Rene Saguisag said.
Some 2,000 prisoners convicted of heinous crime were released early under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law, which spawned a Senate inquiry following reports that it could lead to the release of rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez.
--With a report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News