MANILA - Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Wednesday said the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) was "consistent" with the law.
Roxas and detained Sen. Leila de Lima, who was then Justice secretary, was asked by the Ombudsman to explain why a provision of the IRR crafted under their helm did not disqualify recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes.
The two opposition figures approved the law’s IRR, which was blamed for the release of some 2,000 heinous crime convicts since the measure was enacted.
Roxas, in his official reply, said the supposed missing provision could be found in Section 3, Rule 4 of the IRR.
"All four disqualifications were included in the rules, and none of them are missing as alleged by many commentators in recent days. They are there for everyone to see and for the concerned officers of the government to observe," he said.
Roxas, who claimed he was not a direct participant in the writing of the IRR, said the implementing rules were "worded, to the greatest extent practicable, in a manner consistent with the law it implements."
“I have gone over the IRR and found that the same faithfully reflects the provisions of R.A. 10592 that are the subject of the letter,” he said.
“This being the case, allegations that the IRR has strayed from the law on which it is based are questionably unfounded."
The justice department earlier conceded that the law had various and conflicting interpretations and has since revised the IRR to explicitly exclude recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes from the GCTA system.