PNP chief clarifies warrant needed to arrest freed convicts
PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday, September 4, clarified that a warrant of arrest is needed to haul freed convicts back to jail.
In a television interview Wednesday, September 4, Albayalde said a warrantless arrest can only be done if the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law is revoked.
“Well first of all technically we cannot re-arrest them because there is no court order coming from the competent court and I believe the granting of GCTA is irrevocable but of course if the higher authorities will give us order to re-arrest them, we will,” he said.
“For the meantime, probably what we can do is to monitor them just like any other ordinary person who is on our watchlist. If they do another crime outside of course we can always arrest them we can always conduct case buildup against them. Remember we all know these people were also engaged in the illegal drug trade even inside the prison. If they do something against the law them we can
re-arrest them for that offense, not for previous offense. That’s the least we can do,” he added.
Albayalde, however, said they do not have the list of the released prisoners although they were coordinating with the Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) to identify them for monitoring purposes.
He noted that there is no existing protocol between the PNP and the Bucor on the granting of the GCTA.
“The release is binding because it was signed by the director of the Bucor,” he said referring to Bucor Director General Nicanor Faeldon.
Faeldon earlier said around 11,000 inmates were released based on GCTA. Among those released were three of the seven convicts in the rape-slay of the Chiong sisters in Cebu.
The implementation of the GCTA is temporarily suspended while the Department of Justice and the Interior and Local Government conduct a review of its implementing rules and regulations.
The GCTA sparked outrage following reports on the impending release of former Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted in 1995 for the rape-slay of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of her friend Allan Gomez in 1993.
The Senate has launched an investigation on the GCTA