MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday he will sack all Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials and personnel involved in the release of heinous-crime convicts under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.
Duterte said the firing will not be based on the BuCor’s alleged wrongful use of the GCTA law, but because he is convinced that there was corruption in the release of the convicts.
“So setting aside all the legal infirmities there, even if it was allowed, corruption was present. Sabihin ko lang sa inyo. And everybody will go --- will have to go. Alam nila 'yan,” Duterte said during the inauguration of a new government and business center in Balanga City, Bataan.
“If it was done in good faith, hindi kita anuhin. Pero kung sabihin mo na 'bayaran,' ah that is another story,” he continued. "I will hit you not because the law was in the limbo but because of corruption. So 'yan ang maaasahan ninyo diyan."
The statement came amid allegations that GCTA credits were being sold by corrupt officials.
Duterte earlier said that BuCor officials could not be made accountable for implementing controversial provisions of the GCTA law as the measure itself needed clarification from the Supreme Court.
“Tapos kung sabihin mo maka-secure ka ng conviction, when the Secretary of Justice himself si Guevarra, said that 'we will ask for a clarificatory question or for the Supreme Court to explain,' that law becomes in doubt and questionable, then you cannot convict a person for the rule that he must be proved to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” Duterte said.
“E kung may doubt na nga pati si Guevarra maghingi pa ng clarification, eh kung ang mga abogado hindi sigurado, then how can you convict this idiot?”
Duterte previously sacked former BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon after the latter approved the release of several heinous-crime convicts under GCTA.
The GCTA law has been under public criticism and official scrutiny after nearly 2,000 heinous-crime convicts were reported released since 2014.