Martires to probe De Lima, Roxas on GCTA mess if he’s not satisfied with replies
MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman Samuel Martires has vowed to investigate the roles of Senator Leila de Lima and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II in the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) mess if he is not satisfied with their replies.
The Office of the Ombudsman previously sent out letters to the two, asking them to explain why “heinous crime convicts” were removed from the list of those excluded from Republic Act No. 10592, which counted the GCTA credits of inmates.
Both De Lima and Roxas have already sent their replies, but Martires said on Thursday he has yet to read them. He however warned the two that if the replies appear sarcastic, he will not hesitate to answer back.
“I am just asking them why is it that the prohibition in the law was not included in the IRR (implementing rules and regulations). Ikaw ang gumawa, ipaliwanag mo, kung satisfied ako sa paliwanag mo, titigil ako. Pero kung hindi ako satisfied sa paliwanag mo, aabante ako ng imbestigasyon,” Martires told reporters after an event at the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Pero kung namimilosopo lang sa akin, mamimilosopo rin ako. Ayaw ko sanang humantong sa hindi pagkaka-unawaan di ba, pero sabi ko nga kung pipilitin ako, eh gagawin ko, tungkulin ko ito eh,” he added.
Martires clarified that both De Lima and Roxas are neither considered as respondents or resource persons in the ongoing investigation of the Bureau of Corrections.
Previously, Martires pointed out in his letter that there is a difference in Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code, which was amended by R.A. 10592 — signed by former President Benigno Aquino III — and the law’s IRR.
Section 7 of R.A. 10592 mandates the interior and justice secretaries — then De Lima and Roxas — to craft the IRR.
Under the law, “recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees, and persons charged with heinous crimes” are excluded from availing GCTA. Heinous crimes convict are however not included in Section 3 of the IRR.
In her reply submitted on Tuesday, De Lima said the Ombudsman should direct his question instead to the Department of Justice, as she is no longer in the proper capacity to answer the question. Roxas on the other hand insisted that heinous crime convicts were excluded, as shown in the IRR’s Rule IV, Section 6. /muf
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.