De Lima laments denial of time allowance for reformed convicts
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima on Sunday lamented how corruption and abuse deprived reformed convicts the opportunity to earn time allowances based on good conduct.
De Lima made the remark following the revision of the implementing rules and regulationS (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10592 — the law that increases the time slashed from the prison term of convicts for good behavior.
“I hope in my heart that the new IRR is meant to be a temporary solution to prevent irreversible damage caused by the ‘GCTA-for-sale’ fiasco that hounded this administration,” De Lima said in a statement.
“It is very unfortunate that corruption and abuse of the law have deprived truly reformed PDLs [Persons Deprived of Liberty] of the opportunity to earn time allowances based on good conduct. Yet again, corrupt officials have prejudiced the rights of the powerless,” she added.
Under the revised IRR, “recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapists and those convicted of heinous crimes” are disqualified to benefit from the good conduct time allowance (GCTA).
“The law granting GCTA is part of the reformatory aspect of the criminal justice system. It provides hope to our countrymen who, for some reason or circumstances borne by the sinfulness of the mortal nature, have been in conflict of the law,” De Lima said.
The senator said that the GCTA law was supposed to give prisoners “the opportunity to change their ways, brushing aside any issue of innocence on the part of certain PDLs who may have been falsely charged or convicted.”
“Hope and change is not confined to those imprisoned for lesser crimes. It should be made available to everyone,” De Lima said.
The real injustice, De Lima said, is the granting of time allowance to prisoners who do not deserve them as well as the failure of the system to hold corrupt officials implementing the law accountable.
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