Mindanao Times

Agency vows prompt action on wrongly released convicts


MANILA -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said his agency will act promptly on persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), who were released improperly under the Republic Act No. 10592, particular­ly those charged with heinous offenses.

“The DOJ (Department of Justice) has nothing to do with the release of around 200 PDLs immediatel­y after the SC decision came out last June. No requests for approval were received by the DOJ,” Guevarra told newsmen Tuesday.

“We will act very soon regarding the case of those PDLs convicted of heinous crimes who were prematurel­y released on account of improper GCTAs” he added.

A joint review on the implementa­tion of Republic Act (RA) 10592 providing for the grant of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) credits is being undertaken by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Justice. It aims to examine the Implementi­ng Rules and Regulation­s (IRR) and the Uniform Policy and Guidelines on the computatio­n of credits and allowances provided under RA 10592.

The joint review will determine inconsiste­ncies between the law and the IRR and the 10-day suspension will give the joint DILG and DOJ team ample time to revisit its provisions and make the necessary adjustment­s in the IRR or recommend amendments to Congress, if necessary.

The Bureau of Correction­s is under the DOJ while the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, which runs all district and city jails, is under the DILG.

The impending review of the law’s IRR came in the wake of public uproar following earlier reports that convicted rapist and murderer, former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez is among those who will be entitled to an early release from prison due to a June 25 Supreme Court (SC) ruling.

The SC, however, clarified that the ruling merely interprete­d the law and did not order Sanchez’s release.

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