The vice president said that the Senate should be asking what are the reasons why the Good Conduct and Time Allowance application was botched.
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Robredo: Focus on implementors of GCTA, not on implementing rules
(Philstar.com) - September 17, 2019 - 11:34am

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo said corruption should be the focus of Senate inquiries into implementation of the Good Conduct and Time Allowance law.

At the sidelines of the Senate hearing for Office of the Vice President’s budget on Monday, Robredo noted Senate inquiries into GCTA revealed allegations of corruption.

"That should be the center of the hearing... The hearing may look into what is this corruption happening and why is it happening," she said in Filipino.

A transcript of the chance interview was given to reporters.

The vice president said that the Senate should look into why the implementation of GCTA was botched.

"Is it because of the law or is it because of the implementation of the law?” she added.

The Malacañang earlier pointed out that Sen. Leila de Lima and former Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas drafted the Implementing Rules and Regulation of Republic Act 10592 or GCTA law.

In a handwritten dispatch, de Lima, detained at the police headquarters on drug cases, said blaming her and Roxas for the implementing rules is an attempt to hide corruption in the Bureau of Corrections.

"Mr. Duterte’s logic (why he is blaming Secetary Mar and me) goes: Your IRR does not say that my people cannt release convicts who have committed heinous crimes. So they release them. Why fault us? Fault them (Sec. Mar and me)!" she said.

"This argument hides the reason for the questionable releases: BuCor and prison corruption," De Lima also said.

 De Lima said focus should be on whether the process for the early release of prisoners for good behavior was followed.

"Did they even go through the process mandated under the law, the IRR and the BuCor manual on the GCTA? Did the Management, Screening and Evaluation Committee created under the IRR do its job faithfully?" De Lima said.

RELATED: Mar Roxas: Don’t blame IRR on GCTA

Was the problem in the law or in implementation?

Robredo said that while some are pointing out that the IRR of the law did not include exceptions—such as convicts of heinous crimes—a DOJ department order “attempted to fill in” the gap in the guidelines.

She noted that former Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, who is currently an associate justice of the SC, released a department order in 2015 that held that agreement of DOJ chief is needed for the early release of convicts serving reclusion perpetua or life sentence.

“So the question now is: Was Mayor Sanchez eligible for early release due to the law or due to the implementation of the law?” Robredo said.

“Mahirap na ilihis ito kasi kapag nalihis siya sa tunay na pangyayari, baka paulit-ulit na mangyari ulit, na iyong focus nandoon na sa inyo iyong gumawa ng IRR, hindi na doon sa sino ba iyong involved sa korapsyon kaya nangyayari iyong mga ganitong pagkakataon,” she added.

(It will be difficult to divert this because if the issue is diverted from what really happened, this may happen again and again, that the focus is one who drafted the IRR, not on who are involved in corruption that’s why things like this are happening.)

The Office of the Ombudsman already ordered De Lima and Roxas to clarify the IRR they drafted during the Aquino administration.

The Senate blue ribbon committee is expected to release its partial report on its ongoing inquiry into GCTA and Bureau of Corrections corruption allegations.

The DOJ and DILG, on Monday, released the revised IRR of RA 10592, where heinous crime convicts are held ineligible to become beneficiaries of GCTA. — Kristine Joy Patag

BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE GCTA LENI ROBREDO SENATE
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