DOJ: No rearrest order yet for released convicts
MANILA, Philippines – While tracker teams have been activated to go after inmates prematurely released through the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said its directive was not to arrest them yet.
“We understand activated na ang tracker teams pero yung communication namin last night is wag munang mag rearrest,” DOJ Undersecretary Markk Perete said Friday.
Perete added the DOJ has yet to finish reviewing the list of inmates to be given to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed recommending the suspension of the rearrest of convicts Friday, noting there were persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in the “gray area” or those who are not yet confirmed to have committed heinous crimes.
“I was informed that there have been a few PDLs in what we may call a gray zone or gray area when we cannot really determine without looking at the records of their cases whether they committed heinous crimes,” Guevarra said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.
Guevarra added that the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is still verifying the records of PDLs in the “gray area,” hence the suspension of the released convicts’ rearrest.
“Just to make sure that nobody’s life or personal security would be endangered, this morning, I requested the head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and also the head of PNP, Secretary [Eduardo] Año, I recommended to him that in the meantime that the BuCor is tallying the record, the count and verifying the case records of those in the gray area, we requested that further law enforcement operations be suspended in the meantime,” he continued.
The DOJ said some individuals on the list were in fact granted parole and not released by virtue of the GCTA law.
As of 11 p.m. Thursday, 1,717 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) have surrendered to authorities. /gsg
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