Heinous crime convicts freed on 'good conduct' must serve full jail term: DOJ


Posted at Sep 17 2019 10:50 AM

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MANILA - Heinous crime convicts and other prisoners who were freed despite being unqualified for good conduct time allowance law must serve their full sentence, a justice official said Tuesday.

Under the new implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the GCTA policy issued Monday, the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior and Local Government excluded escapees, habitual delinquents, recidivists and heinous crime convicts from the law, which provides that the grant of the GCTA is irrevocable once granted.

"Dun sa totally disqualified, walang effect yung irrevocability kasi from the very beginning dapat alam nila na wala silang entitlement sa GCTA, which means hindi na-extinguish yung kanilang criminal liability by the anomalous grant of the GCTA so kailangan talaga nilang i-serve the entire sentence," Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete told radio DZMM.

(The effect of irrevocability does not apply to those totally disqualified because from the start they should know they are not entitled to the GCTA, which means their criminal liability was not extinguished by the anomalous grant of the GCTA, so they must serve the entire sentence.)

A total of 612 convicts have turned themselves in as of Monday morning, 3 days before the end President Rodrigo Duterte's 15-day ultimatum for the surrender of prisoners released early on good conduct.

The Bureau of Corrections will still give the final approval for a prisoner's release, but the DOJ will review the computation of the GCTA, according to Perete.

"While inaantay natin yung revision ng batas, makikita na agad natin (While we wait for the revision of the law, we will see immediately) if there’s some sort of anomaly in the evaluation and we could hold those liable dun sa erroneous o anomalous computation ng GCTA to account," he said.

The IRR also directs BuCor to release a list of inmates who may be possibly released and gives observer status to accredited civil society organizations on deliberations of the bureau's Management, Screening and Evaluation Committee.