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GCTA MESS

356 of 487 convicts who surrendered not in BuCor list given to Senate

/ 08:51 PM September 17, 2019

Manila, Philippines — A-46-year-old convict released on Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) surrendered in Tiaong, Quezon heeding the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to more than 1,000 prematurely released inmates to surrender within 15 days or be considered fugitives.

However, the list that the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) provided to the Senate does not include the name of Santiago Carugal, the convict who surrendered.

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His case is not an isolated one. Four of five rape convicts who surrendered in Quezon City are also not on the list, along with a robbery-with-homicide convict.

According to data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 356 of the 487 surrenderers are not on the BuCor list given to the Senate.

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The biggest bulk of unlisted surrenderers came from Mimaropa, Central Visayas, National Capital Region and Western Visayas.

Riddled with errors

Aside from missing names, there were four female “rape convicts” released under the previous administration of President Benigno Aquino III, while 24 female “rape convicts” — including plunder convict Janet Lim-Napoles — were released under the current administration.

There are also persons deprived of liberty who, based on BuCor records were convicted of rape but court records showed otherwise.

As an example is the case of Vicente Jakosalem who, based on BuCor records showed was serving time for rape. However, he was convicted of killing a fellow soldier in 1990.

Another example is Lo Ho Wing whose name was classified under persons deprived of liberty (PDL) convicted of rape. He was released last January 2019. Records from the Supreme Court showed, however, that he was convicted for illegal drugs. He was part of a drug and gunrunning syndicate.

Other examples of error are the entries on the convicts in the killing of the Chiong sisters.

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On the list of 200 convicts released after June 2019, Ariel Balasag and Alberto Caño were released on Aug. 19, 2019, but the expanded list showed that Balasag was released on July 31. On the other hand, Caño was not convicted of murder but of violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and released on Aug. 10, 2019. The two have already surrendered.

James Anthony Uy was released on Aug. 16, 2019, based on the list of 200 convicts released after June 2019. But the full list showed that he was released on July 31, 2019.

Josman Aznar was supposedly released on the same day as Uy. But the full list showed he was released on July 24.

Both have yet to surrender according to Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete.

Chinese drug convicts

The Chinese drug convicts mentioned by Sen. Panfilo Lacson who were almost deported back to their country were “murder” convicts based on the BuCor list.

Of the over 150 drug convicts released on GCTA under the current administration, based on the BuCor list, only five have Chinese-sounding names.

President’s deadline

The President’s deadline for the released inmates to surrender is Sept. 19.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said those who would not turn themselves in would be considered fugitives and could be arrested without a warrant.

He added that they had also requested the BuCor to provide corrected data with photos of inmates which would be provided to the PNP as a basis in pursuing those who failed to surrender within the deadline.

“BuCor will come up with a clean list — so reduced numbers, with those who shouldn’t be included removed,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino. “It will include photos before the deadline on Sept. 19.”

He added that processing of GCTAs would also continue for ordinary inmates — meaning those not included in the exclusions, that is, recidivists, escapists, habitual delinquents and convicted of heinous crimes.

On the other hand, a review of records of inmates who surrendered would be on a first-come, first-served basis meaning records of those who surrendered first would be the first to be reviewed.

“We are very concerned about those who need to be released because they deserve it. We cannot allow them to wait too long so to whatever extent that we can implement, we will implement,” Guevarra said.

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TAGS: Bucor, Bureau of Corrections, Department of Justice, GCTA, Good Conduct Time Allowance
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