“Considering the number of PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) involved, we plan to release in tranches, the first of which will hopefully happen Thursday,” Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said.
Release of 300 non-GCTA surrenderees expected today
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - September 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The release of the first batch of 300 freed convicts who surrendered at the height of the controversy over the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) is expected to begin today, Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said yesterday.

“Considering the number of PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) involved, we plan to release in tranches, the first of which will hopefully happen Thursday,” Perete said.

At the Senate on Monday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra revealed having ordered the release of the more than 300 PDLs who are not subjects of a manhunt ordered by President Duterte.

As of last Sept. 23, the DOJ said there were 2,221 PDLs who surrendered – 307 more than the 1,914 PDLs in the original Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) list. The BuCor list supposedly contained the names of convicts of heinous crimes prematurely released under the GCTA law.

He explained that given the “tedious process,” it would take time before a thorough review of the prison records of the more than 300 PDLs can be completed.

The DOJ official explained that BuCor has a list of PDLs whose cases are not GCTA-related and who are set for release. This includes those ordered released based on court orders like acquittals, commutation of sentences, pardon or even parole.

But before these individuals can be re-released, the BuCor would have to make proper recommendation and justify it before the panel created by the Oversight Committee on Corrections.

“The Oversight Committee on Corrections has constituted a panel to verify each and every release. We have met in the past days and will meet again this afternoon with the relevant BuCor officers whose task is to justify each and every recommendation for release,” Perete added.

Furthermore, the DOJ-Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Task Force “continues to comb through the prison records and carpetas at the Senate,” he pointed out.

As of early this week, “they have reviewed close to a hundred records,” he said. 

“We will eventually use their output to come up with a cleaned up list of GCTA-related cases,” he added.

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