ALL SET: PNP manhunt operations against convicts start Friday
MANILA, Philippines — Hours before the 15-day deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte ends, the Philippine National Police (PNP) warned heinous crime convicts who fail to surrender until cutoff that the police will launch manhunt operations against them starting Friday.
“Effective tomorrow, Friday, the PNP shifts to manhunt operations after the deadline today, Thursday,” PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement.
He said the manhunt operation will be conducted with or without a reward “though it may be helpful to entice possible informants against convicts who will fail to surrender.”
“But the PNP will exert all efforts to arrest them through our tracker teams led by CIDG following the prescribed procedures and with the utmost respect for human rights,” Banac said.
“We believe that through swift and relentless arrests, we can convince and expedite the surrender of more freed convicts,” he added.
He then urged heinous crime convicts to turn themselves in even after the deadline. He said all police units nationwide will remain open to assist them in returning to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde earlier warned that convicts who will not surrender before the deadline may face warrantless arrest, and be subjected to force by the police if they will resist arrest.
Data from PNP as of 6 a.m. Thursday showed that a total of 579 convicts believed to have been erroneously released via the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law have surrendered to different police stations nationwide.
But the official count of the Department of Justice indicated that the number of surrenderers was already at 1,025 as of 2:27 p.m. Wednesday. This includes those who surrendered to the PNP and those who directly turned themselves in at BuCor in Muntinlupa City.
On September 4, Duterte ordered nearly 2,000 heinous crime convicts released through the GCTA law to surrender to authorities.
Section 1 of the Republic Act 10592, also known as the GCTA law, excludes heinous crime convicts from availaing reduced prison terms because of good behavior while in prison.
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