MANILA - Murder convict Rolito Go is not covered by the surrender order to prisoners prematurely released based on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.
"If I recall correctly, he was freed because of commutation of sentence. I don't think it was because of good conduct time allowance alone," Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on ANC's Headstart Friday.
Police on Friday went to Go's house since his name was still on the list of convicts subject for rearrest after the deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte for their surrender lapsed Thursday midnight.
However, police failed to find Go.
Guevarra said Go's sentence was commuted and he served it in full.
"That's why he's already out and he should not be included here anymore. He is not supposed to be one of those convicted of heinous crimes who were prematurely released on account of GCTA," he said.
The Supreme Court (SC) ordered Go's immediate release in 2016 after it junked the Bureau of Corrections' appeal for a reversal of two lower court rulings granting Go's writ of habeas corpus petition.
Go, a construction magnate, was convicted for shooting De La Salle University student Eldon Maguan in the head during an infamous road rage incident in San Juan in 1991.
He was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a San Juan court in 1993. Days before he was convicted, he escaped from jail and went into hiding until he was caught in 1996 in Pampanga.
In 2012, Go escaped from prison, although he claimed it was a case of kidnapping.
After this incident, the Maguan family said Go had not shown any remorse nor apologized for his act. They also cited reports that Go had often violated prison rules.
In 2013, Go told DZMM he should already be released since he had served his maximum sentence. He was suffering from colon cancer then and was allegedly allowed to regularly receive treatment outside prison.