IBP urges more transparent review of heinous-crime convicts’ conduct in prison

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2019 10:29 PM

The New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines said it supports the public in its clamor for a more careful review of the good conduct time of incarcerated persons, particularly those convicted of heinous crimes. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Thursday urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to be more transparent in its review of good conduct time for high-profile, heinous crime convicts.

In a statement, the IBP said it supports the public in its clamor for a more careful review of the good conduct time of incarcerated persons, especially those convicted of heinous crimes.

"We suggest that the basis for and evaluation of 'good conduct' and the computation of shortened imprisonment be made more transparent," it said.

According to the IBP, it welcomes the idea of publishing those reviews on the websites of the DOJ and other correctional agencies, as well as "informing the private offended parties and their families much earlier."

"The doubts, fears, and perhaps the reality that our penal system is flawed or corrupted must be decisively addressed," the IBP said.

The IBP's statement came in the wake of reports of the impending release of former Calauan town mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for the 1993 rape-murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta, and the murder of her companion Allan Gomez. 

The DOJ said Sanchez’s good conduct time allowances were being recomputed by the Bureau of Corrections, its attached agency, and that Sanchez could be a free man following 2013 amendments to provisions of the Revised Penal Code on good conduct time grants. 

It has also ordered a thorough review and recomputation of good conduct time allowances (GCTA) granted prisoners involved in heinous crimes and other high-profile cases.