As deadline looms, freed convicts urged to surrender

BACOLOD City – With only one day left before the deadline, Negros Occidental police chief Colonel Romeo Baleros reminded all freed heinous crime convicts to surrender on or before Thursday.

“If convicts failed to surrender beyond President Rodrigo Duterte’s Sept. 19 deadline, then they will be deemed to be fugitives from justice and they can be arrested,” he said.

According to Baleros, only seven out of 55 freed criminals in the province have so far turned themselves to various police stations.

He noted that these inmates came from the cities of Cadiz; Himamaylan; Silay; La Carlota; and towns of Hinoba-an; Calatrava; and La Castellana.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Acollador, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office deputy director, said a surrenderer from Himamaylan City has already completed the service of his sentence, while another one from Cadiz City also yielded to cops, although the convict stated he forgot the nature of his release and failed to present his documents.

“They can also surrender to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) or in the Bureau of Correction (BuCor)” he said.

Four convicts from the La Carlota City, Silay City, Hinoba-an, and La Castellana have already been referred to the Negros Occidental District Jail, while the convict who surrendered in the town of Calatrava has been directly referred to the BuCor.

President Duterte recently ordered the arrest of 1,914 heinous crime convicts freed early based on a wrong interpretation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (RA 10592) law for committing the crime of evasion of a sentence.

The Chief Executive gave the convicts, who have been “unlawfully” released since 2014 based on good conduct, to turn themselves in within 15 days.

Earlier, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra have created a joint committee “to review the Implementing Rules and Regulations and the Uniform Policy and Guidelines on the computation of credits and allowances provided under RA 10592.”

The joint committee will submit its report and draft revised IRR, uniform policy and guidelines on the computation of time credits and allowances under RA 10592 to the Secretary of Justice and Secretary of the Interior and Local Government within 10 working days from the issuance of the order./PN


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