ILOILO City – A total of 149 convicts from Western Visayas have been released by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) since 2013 in line with the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law, data from the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) showed. “We are calling these convicts to surrender to the police as soon as possible,” said Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 information officer.
The GCTA Law has come under scrutiny after the Department of Justice announced that convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez, former mayor of Calauan, Laguna, might be released from prison because of supposed good behavior. An alarmed President Rodrigo ordered those already released to surrender for a review their time served in prison.
The 149 released convicts were from Negros Occidental (57), Iloilo province (29), Bacolod City (21), Aklan (15), Capiz (13), Antique (seven), and Iloilo City (seven).
Malong said that those who failed to surrender when the 15-day period Duterete gave beginning Sept. 4 would be considered fugitives from justice and would be hunted down by the police.
“In the province of Iloilo, we listed 29 released convicts but five of them were actually under parole and probation. We will clarify their status with the BuCor,” she added.
As of yesterday, the number of released Iloilo province convicts who surrendered and had themselves accounted by the police already reached 13, said Malong.
They were from the towns of Leganes (one), Anilao (one), Pavia (two), Cabatuan (one), Dueñas (two), Dumangas (one), Santa Barbara (two), Tubungan (one), Sara (one), and Barotac Nuevo (one).
They were not kept in police stations but were allowed to go home.
“We are waiting for the Department of Justice to get them and bring them to BuCor,” said Police Colonel Roland Vilela, director of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO).
In Iloilo City, out of seven released convicts, only one so far surrendered.
The 56-year-old Modesto Dumalag of Barangay San Jose, Molo district presented himself to the Molo police station yesterday at around 1:30 p.m.
Dumalag was released from prison on June 17, 2016.
President Duterte he wanted a recomputation of the good conduct time allowances given to the thousands of inmates who were released under the 2013 law on GCTA.
“I will give you 15 days, liberty. Provided you make yourself available anytime that you will be called for investigation, to have a recomputation,” Duterte said on Wednesday last week.
“If you do not, then beginning at this hour, you are a fugitive from justice. You will be treated as a criminal. If i were you, mag-surrender na kayo,” he added.
The President said he would also decide if he would raise a P1-million bounty for each of the heinous crimes convicts who had been released.
The Palace has said the GCTA Law excluded recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes from its coverage.
Data from the Bureau of Corrections showed that of the 22,049 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) released from 2014 to 2019 due to good conduct time allowance, 1,914 had been convicted of heinous crimes such as murder and rape.
Of those convicted of heinous crimes, 797 were sentenced for murder, 758 for rape, 274 for robbery with violence or intimidation, 48 for drug-related offenses, 29 for parricide, five for kidnapping with illegal detention, and three for destructive arson. (With a report from GMA News/PN)