Anti-corruption body suspends GCTA probe, defers to Senate, Ombudsman

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2019 11:49 AM

MANILA - The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) on Saturday said it has suspended its parallel investigation into the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) mess, which had allowed the early release of heinous crime convicts. 

In a statement, the PACC said the move is in deference to the probe currently conducted by the Senate and the Office of the Ombudsman.

"However, we will continue to provide assistance to both institutions given the seriousness and magnitude of the problem, and especially when sought for," the PACC said. 

PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna and chairman Dante Jimenez are both resource persons in the ongoing Senate investigation on the controversial law granting the early release of convicts.

The implementation of Republic Act 10592, which expanded the “good conduct time allowance” of prisoners to include detention time, has come under scrutiny after the justice department announced that convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez might be released from prison because of supposed good behavior.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) data showed some 2,000 heinous crime convicts were released early from 2013 until this August through their good conduct credits. 

On Sept. 4, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered that they surrender or face warrantless arrest. He also fired Nicanor Faeldon as BuCor chief. 

At the Senate, witnesses surfaced baring an alleged "GCTA for sale" racket, along with other corrupt practices such as granting hospital passes to moneyed inmates for a fee even if they are not sick.