Go: Release of nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts did not go through Duterte

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2019 02:23 PM

BEIJING - The early release of nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts did not go through President Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go said Saturday, adding that the chief executive would for sure hold liable those behind it. 

In a text message, the senator said that Duterte has yet to be informed that thousands of heinous crime convicts have been released because of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).

The GCTA allows the early release of convicts on account of good conduct. 

“Hindi dumaan kay Pangulo 'yan. Anong gagawin ni Presidente? Papasagutin niya ang dinaanan,” Senator Go said.

(That did not go through the President. What will the President do? Hold liable whoever that got through.)

Data from the Bureau of Corrections showed that of the total 22,049 prisoners released because of the GCTA since 2014, 1,914 were heinous crime convicts, including rapists and murderers.

The releases followed the enactment of a 2013 law expanding the computation of good conduct time allowance (GCTA) to detention time. The Supreme Court also upheld its retroactive application. 

Malacañang earlier said that heinous crime convicts released early should be taken back to jail. 

“That cannot be done because the law is very clear. Republic Act 10592 is very clear that those charged and convicted of heinous crimes, escapees, habitual delinquents and recidivists are not covered by the law," Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters here. 

"Obviously, dapat makabalik sila sa kulungan (they should be put back in prison) until they serve the full term of their sentence,” he added.

The GCTA drew controversy following outrage over earlier reports that former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez may be released because of GCTA. 

Sanchez was sentenced to 7 reclusion perpetua terms (40 years each) for the 1993 rape-slay of Eileen Sarmenta and her companion Allan Gomez. 

The justice and interior departments recently suspended the processing of GCTA applications for a review.