MANILA - Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday said the confusion over the implementation of a law granting increased good conduct time allowance (GCTA) for prisoners shows that the Philippines was better off imposing death penalty.
“Death is better than being in jail until you die,” Go said in a Senate inquiry on the implementation of the GCTA law on Monday.
“Kung ganoon katigas ang Pilipino, then ibalik ang death penalty, kung gusto nila humanitarian, we have to implement this law, but ayusin lang.”
(If the Filipinos are really hard-headed, then let’s reimpose death penalty, but if we want to be humanitarian, we have to implement this law, but let’s fix it.)
Republic Act 10592, enacted in 2013, recently came under scrutiny following reports that it could lead to the release of Antonio Sanchez, a former Laguna mayor convicted in a 1990s rape-murder case that was among the most followed in the country.
The law, based on the interpretation of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), allowed Sanchez to avail of GCTA and be released ahead of the end of his prison term.
Go agreed that the intention of the law was good, but said it is fraught with provisions that are prone to abuse.
“Our laws should provide protection to innocent people and justice to victims and not provide sanctuary… that benefits perpetrators of heinous crimes,” he said.
‘HEADS WILL ROLL’
BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon, one of the trusted figures of President Rodrigo Duterte, has also come under fire after news came out that his agency approved Sanchez’s release.
Faeldon admitted he signed an order that supposedly started the processing of Sanchez’s release, but insisted he had no choice but to follow Republic Act 10592.
He explained that under the law’s implementing rules and regulations, even convicts of heinous crimes are included in the granting of GCTA.
During the hearing, minority Sen. Risa Hontiveros suggested that corruption was involved in the granting of GCTA.
Go said he does not know what President Rodrigo Duterte now thinks of Faeldon, who has so far weathered various corruption allegations.
“Iyan ang ipapasilip niya. Kami dito sa Senado iniimbestigahan namin kung ano ang katotohanan, lumabas ang totoo, at sabi ni Pangulong Duterte paiimbestigahan n'ya ito. Definitely heads will roll,” Go told reporters in a chance interview.
Faeldon said he was not inclined to resign in the wake of the GCTA controversy.