Some freed convicts have left the Philippines â DILG
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the report is not clear on the number of convicts that have left the country, but he said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is coordinating with the Interpol to track them down.
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Some freed convicts have left the Philippines – DILG

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2019 - 12:00am

65 heinous crime convicts surrender – PNP

MANILA, Philippines — Several of the 1,914 convicts granted freedom under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law have left the country, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said yesterday.

“I received a report that several of those prisoners are already abroad,” Año told radio station dzBB.

Año said the report is not clear on the number of convicts that have left the country, but he said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is coordinating with the Interpol to track them down.

Año said the Interpol had agreed to locate the convicts and provide information on their whereabouts.

“The PNP is still in the process of locating the convicts that were on the list,” Año told The STAR, referring to the names of the freed convicts listed by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Año admitted it would be difficult to rearrest the convicts if they have fled to a country that has no extradition treaty with the Philippines.

“There is nothing we can do about that,” he said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, on the other hand, said there has been no report from authorities that any of the freed convicts had left the Philippines.

“So far none of the (prisoners) has been seen at the terminals (airports and seaports). All (of the) immigration and National Bureau of Investigation agents in our ports have been alerted,” Guevarra said.

Department of Justice spokesman Mark Perete said the Bureau of Immigration has initially reported that no one among the prisoners in the list submitted by BuCor has left the country.

Guevarra recently issued an Immigration Lookout Bulletin covering the 1,914 prisoners who were granted freedom under the GCTA law.

Perete added they received information that a total of 76 have surrendered as of Saturday night.

The PNP said they have accounted for 65 of the convicts that surrendered.

Most of the convicts who surrendered were from Cagayan Valley with 24 followed by 11 in the Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan region with 11 and seven in Central Visayas.

The other convicts were from other parts of the country, including two in Metro Manila. However, no one among the convicts from the regions of Ilocos, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao, Soccsksargen and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao have surrendered.

The figure is way below the 1,914 prisoners convicted of heinous crimes who were granted freedom under GCTA or Republic Act 10592 that reduced their sentences upon showing good behavior.

President Duterte on Wednesday ordered the released prisoners to surrender and register with BuCor within 15 days or they would be considered fugitives.

Duterte voided the release orders following reports of irregularities and corruption in the computation of prison sentences under the GCTA law.

Año appealed to the remaining convicts to surrender, not to wait for the authorities to arrest them.

PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac also appealed to the other convicts to heed the presidential order for them to surrender.

“We give them enough time to think it over and decide but we continue to appeal to them not to let the 15-day grace period lapse without having themselves accounted for,” he said.

Twenty-six of the convicts who surrendered were convicted of rape and 19 for murder. The others were convicted for robbery with rape, murder and robbery, attempted rape with homicide, robbery with homicide, illegal drugs, parricide, rape with homicide and rape and arson.

Officials said the 65 convicts were turned over to the BuCor after undergoing booking procedures and medical examination. – With Evelyn Macairan, Non Alquitran, Rey Galupo

GOOD CONDUCT TIME ALLOWANCE HEINOUS CRIME CONVICTS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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