MANILA (UPDATED) - Over 1,700 convicts who were freed early for supposed good conduct have surrendered as of Thursday night, on President Rodrigo Duterte's deadline.
"As of (11 p.m.) today, total number of surrenderers has increased to 1,717," Justice Department spokesperson Markk Perete said.
"This will be our last bulletin as we shall now firm up the list to be transmitted to DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government.)"
The figure accounts for more than two-thirds of some 2,000 freed heinous crime convicts who were ordered to surrender.
Perete earlier said that around 1,914 convicts were expected to surrender despite the 2,000 figure because the cases of the rest are still being verified.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they already have special teams on standby and ready to track locations of the freed convicts who refused to surrender.
Most of the prisoners who have surrendered to police under Duterte's ultimatum were not heinous crime convicts, the PNP said earlier.
Republic Act 10592, which increases the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) of prisoners, came under public criticism and official scrutiny after the justice department said that rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez might be released from prison because of supposed good behavior.
Duterte had given the convicts until Thursday to surrender or face warrantless arrest.
- with a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News