Police trackers ready to hunt 24 freed convicts in Region 12
COTABATO CITY — Police authorities have readied themselves to launch a manhunt against convicts in the Soccsksargen region who were released under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law by the Bureau of Corrections but refused to voluntarily surrender on orders of President Duterte.
The deadline for turning themselves in to authorities lapsed on Thursday evening.
“We have tracker teams, we have sent feelers, we sought the help of village officials,” Lieutenant Colonel Lino Capellan, Region 12 police spokesperson, said in a radio interview.
He added though that the manhunt operation was held until further notice from the national police leadership.
So far, only 13 freed convicts have showed up in police stations across the region until the deadline expired.
Capellan said that based on records provided by the Department of Justice and BuCor, the Soccsksargen region has 37 freed convicts who listed as their last home address the provinces of Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal, and General Santos.
These individuals were convicted of heinous crimes like rape, rape with homicide, robbery with rape, multiple counts of murder, and frustrated murder.
Of the 13 who surrendered, five were from South Cotabato, another five from Sultan Kudarat, two from Cotabato, and one from Sarangani.
“I volunteered to surrender not because I am afraid to be shot or what, I came here because I am now a law abiding citizen,” said one of those who surrendered to police, asking he remained unidentified.
“I am now a pastor,” he said, adding he was convicted of rape and jailed at the Leyte Regional Prison facility in Southern Leyte.
After serving 25 years of his sentence, he walked free in 2017 under the Special Time Allowance for Loyalty as provided under the GCTA law.
“I appeal to the relatives of convicts freed under GCTA to help bring them to police or they will be arrested,” Capellan said./lzb
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