MANILA - The Bureau of Corrections is "prepared to answer" questions about the inclusion of plunder convict Janet Lim Napoles in a list of inmates eligible for early release under a contentious law, the Department of Justice said Thursday.
The charge attached to Napoles was rape, not plunder, in the list of beneficiaries for the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law, documents obtained by the Senate showed.
"Nagbigay na po ako ng verbal instructions... Sabi ko, please find out iyong cause bakit may mga ganito," said Justice Undersecretary Dep Marco.
(I have given verbal instructions. I said please find out the cause of this.)
"Noong nakausap ko po iyong mga taga-BuCor, kahit po sila, hindi pa sila makapagbigay ng categorical answer kung bakit may mga ganoong discrepancy. Sinabi po nila na they will be prepared to answer today," he added.
(When I talked to BuCor personnel, even they failed to give a categorical answer on why there was such a discrepancy. They said they will be prepared to answer today.)
Napoles inclusion in the list may have been intended to let her go free or may have been a "clerical" error, noted Marco.
The Senate on Thursday will resume its inquiry into the GCTA law, which came under fire foll owing reports that it has freed some 2,000 heinous crime convicts since 2014 and could have benefited Antono Sanchez, a former mayor convicted in a highly followed 1990s rape-murder case.
Justice and Interior officials of Thursday will also submit to their department heads a draft of the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the law, following a 2-week review and suspension of GCTA applications.
The revised IRR addresses the "confusion" on who are the inmates disqualified from getting good conduct credits and sets additional transparency safeguards, said Marco.