Number of surrenderees continues to overshoot original GCTA list
This is more than the list compiled by prison officials in response to the order of President Duterte for former inmates to yield to authorities after some were reportedly prematurely released through the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
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Number of surrenderees continues to overshoot original GCTA list
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday said a total of 2,221 convicts have surrendered.

This is more than the list compiled by prison officials in response to the order of President Duterte for former inmates to yield to authorities after some were reportedly prematurely released through the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law. 

Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said as of 9 a.m. yesterday, some 2,221 convicts have surrendered, with 1,985 now in the custody of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) while 236 are still with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The total number of 2,221 convicts who yielded is 307 more than the 1,914 in the original list provided by BuCor. 

But the DOJ said the list of names should be corrected after some errors were found in the original list.

The names of inmates who have been pardoned and those out on parole would be removed from the list.

Perete said even before they completed purging the list, the BuCor is expected to start setting free the convicts who do not classify as prematurely released due to GCTA or those who have been pardoned or were out on parole.

“We understand BuCor will start releasing those who surrendered whose releases are not GCTA-related to begin with. It has also transferred personnel from less congested facilities to help. They have contingency plans in place to address food and sanitation concerns,” he added.

BuCor spokesman Eusebio del Rosario Jr. said yesterday the bureau will soon start releasing those who surrendered to the national penitentiary but were not convicted of heinous crimes.

Del Rosario said the cases of those who surrendered are being processed.

“What happened is, not all those who surrendered committed heinous crimes... the problem is, [those who were not covered by President Duterte’s order] really wanted to surrender,” Del Rosario said.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the PNP to suspend operations to arrest convicts freed under GCTA.

Año gave the directive as they were still waiting for the clean list of convicts freed due to the GCTA.

With the conflicting figures, he ordered PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde to stop police operations until the list of convicts is finalized.

However, he clarified that police tracker teams will continue monitoring the movements of the convicts who did not heed President Duterte’s order to surrender.

Exercising prudence is the best option, according to Año, as it is possible that those now on the list might be arrested by mistake.

Perete said members of the DOJ-BuCor Task Force went to the Senate yesterday to check on the records of the convicts as part of their verification process. “They will work there until we complete the process.” 

Last Sept. 20, the DOJ also suggested to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the PNP to suspend the apprehension of the convicts since they need to purge the BuCor list of the names of those who have already surrendered.

Perete also said they could only start releasing convicts who were verified to be qualified for release under the GCTA coverage once the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) take effect on Oct. 4.  – With Emmanuel Tupas, Ralph Edwin Villanueva

BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS GOOD CONDUCT TIME ALLOWANCE
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