Freed convicts who have surrendered now 505
Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said the 505 heinous crime convicts turned themselves in to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Freed convicts who have surrendered now 505
Evelyn Macairan, Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - September 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With five days to go before the deadline, only 505 freed convicts have surrendered as of yesterday.

Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said the 505 heinous crime convicts turned themselves in to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said a total of 391 convicts have surrendered to various police units across the nation and 249 of them were turned over to BuCor.

The number of convicts that surrendered is way below the 1,914 granted freedom under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

On Sept. 4, President Duterte ordered the freed convicts to surrender and register with BuCor within 15 days or they would be considered fugitives and hunted “dead or alive.” They have until Sept. 19 to turn themselves in.

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

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said they could use force if the freed prisoners refuse to surrender.

National Capital Region Police Office director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said all police forces had been tasked to hunt the remaining convicts once the deadline expires.

Eleazar said those who will not surrender after the 15-day “grace period” will be arrested.

“The day after September 19, September 20, we will have a manhunt operation,” Eleazar said.

The early release of thousands of convicted rapists, murderers and drug criminals triggered public outcry, prompting a congressional investigation.

Duterte was furious when critics alleged that the BuCor run by his appointee Nicanor Faeldon was letting dangerous criminals pay their way out of prison.

On the same day that Duterte issued the deadline for surrender, he fired Faeldon as BuCor chief.

Duterte went on to warn those who were freed to surrender or consider themselves fugitives.

The BuCor officials denied the allegations of graft even as the ongoing Senate investigation has revealed the massive corruption in the state penitentiary where everything – from prostitutes, cellphone, illegal drugs and hospitalization – can be bought at the right price. – With Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Marc Jayson Cayabyab

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