New law cuts prison term for good behaviorBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Now, inmates can earn time deductions for good behavior.
President Aquino has enacted Republic Act No. 10592, signed on May 29, to amend certain provisions of the Revised Penal Code. It lists down the credits available to good-behaving prisoners depending on the time served in prison.
In the first two years of imprisonment, a prisoner is entitled to a deduction of 20 days from his/her jail term for each month of good behavior. This is raised to 23 days on the third to fifth year, 25 days on the sixth to 10th year and 30 days on the 11th year and succeeding years of imprisonment, the law says.
“At any time during the period of imprisonment, he shall be allowed another deduction of 15 days, in addition to numbers one to four hereof, for each month of study, teaching or mentoring service time rendered,” it says.
The Revised Penal Code provides a deduction of five days for each month of good conduct in first two years of imprisonment; eight days during the third to fifth year; 10 days on the sixth to 10th year; and 15 days during the 11th and succeeding years of imprisonment.
RA 10592 also grants a big deduction of one’s sentence for loyalty.
A prisoner, who escapes during a calamity or catastrophe but returns within 48 hours after the event has passed, is entitled to a deduction of a fifth of his sentence. A prisoner who stays during the calamity or catastrophe enjoys a deduction of two-fifths of his sentence.
This applies to prisoners undergoing preventive imprisonment or serving sentence.
Under the law, the director of the Bureau of Corrections, chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology or the warden of a local jail is empowered to grant such allowances for good conduct, and once granted, these allowances will not be revoked.
Any official or employee found violating the law faces one year imprisonment, a fine of P100,000 and perpetual disqualification from public office.
The law also provides that any period of preventive imprisonment will be deducted from the term of imprisonment, for as long as the prisoner voluntarily agrees to abide by the disciplinary rules imposed on convicted prisoners with the aid of a counsel “after being informed of the effects.”
The exceptions to this are recidivists, or those convicted twice or more of any crime; and prisoners who fail to surrender when summoned for the execution of their sentence.
Credit for preventive imprisonment for the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be deducted from 30 years.
“Whenever an accused has undergone preventive imprisonment for a period equal to the possible maximum imprisonment of the offense charged to which he may be sentenced and his case is not yet terminated, he shall be released immediately without prejudice to the continuation of the trial thereof or the proceeding on appeal, if the same is under review,’’ the law says.
The President’s deputy spokesperson, Abigail Valte, said the new law would be “useful” to criminal lawyers.