MANILA (UPDATE) - The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) will release prisoners who surrendered under President Rodrigo Duterte's ultimatum despite not being convicted of heinous crimes, the Department of Justice said Monday.
As of 9 a.m. Monday, the DOJ said 2,221 convicts have surrendered, 1,985 of whom are at the national penitentiary while 236 are under police custody.
The figure exceeds the data of the BuCor which showed only 1,914 heinous-crime convicts were released through the GCTA law since 2014.
The DOJ said the bureau has also enlisted the help of personnel from less congested facilities in addressing food and sanitation concerns at the New Bilibid Prisons.
The Philippine National Police, meantime, said it would only go after convicts included on the list that BuCor will provide.
"The PNP assures the public that convicts subject for manhunt by the PNP will only be those that will appear on the clean list to be provided by DOJ. So there’s no cause for alarm and there’s nothing to worry about security," PNP spokesman Bernard Banac said.
Convicts who surrendered have refused to leave the New Bilibid Prisons in fear of being forcibly re-arrested or killed.
--With reports from Zhander Cayabyab and Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News