3 senators file bill seeking repeal of GCTA law
MANILA, Philippines — A Senate bill was filed Monday seeking to repeal the controversial good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III alongside senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Richard Gordon filed Senate Bill No. 993 seeking to repeal the GCTA law which was enacted in May 2013.
The senators filed the bill amid public outrage on the possible early release of convicted rape-murderer and former Laguna, Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez based on the said law.
“This has created a public outrage and prompted this august body to look into the propriety of its application to the aforesaid prisoner, as well as the implementation of RA 10592 in general,” the senators said in their explanatory note.
Citing a Senate bill that became the basis of GCTA, the senators said the “intention of the framers is primarily to grant good conduct allowance to persons deprived of liberty while their case is still pending.”
“However, when it was enacted into law, it caused an absurd interpretation; and its very provisions needed harmonization. Furthermore, it has been subject to abuse by the persons allowed by law to grant time allowances,” they added.
While the GCTA’s purpose is good for “decongesting overpopulated cells,” the senators pointed out its aftermath may be “prejudicial” for the victims and their families who are seeking justice.
Senator Sonny Angara earlier filed a bill seeking to amend the law, specifically to include mandatory notice to the victims and their families and publication of names of prisoners who are scheduled and making the grant of GCTA revocable. /muf
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