Panelo: Ignore prisoners’ good behavior, Filipinos are incorrigible
MANILA, Philippines – If President Duterte’s spokesman and legal counsel Salvador Panelo would have his way, he would not allow the release of convicts due to good behavior as he believes that Filipinos are incorrigible.
Panelo issued the statement amid allegations of corruption inside the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) related to the supposed wrong implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
“My suggestion there is forget the good conduct thing. If you’re sentenced to 15 years, you serve for 15 years whether you’re good or bad inmate. You’re sentenced to 40 years, life imprisonment? You serve that,” Panelo said Monday in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
“The law gives you that punishment precisely because you committed a crime and the equivalent penalty is being given to you. Binabayaran mo ‘yung utang mo sa lipunan. Eh ano kung mabuting tao kana diyan? (You’re paying back what you owe to society. So what if you’ve become a changed person in jail?) It doesn’t matter, may ginawa ka na nga eh (You have committed a crime already),” he added.
The Palace official defended his stand and claimed that Filipinos lack the tendency to be corrected or reformed.
“Hindi pupwede reformative dito sa Pilipinas. Alam mo tayong mga Pilipino masyado tayong incorrigible eh kaya kailangan talaga strong hand, kailangan disiplinang totoo. (We cannot be reformative here in the Philippines. We Filipinos are so incorrigible, so we really need true discipline)” he stressed.
The implementation of the Republic Act 10592 or the GCTA law, which shaves years off a prisoner’s jail time due to good behavior, has come under scrutiny after the Justice Department announced that convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez might be released from jail because of good behavior.
According to BuCor data, close to 2,000 heinous-crime convicts were released by virtue of the GCTA law since 2014.
Recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes are not entitled to benefit from the GCTA law. /gsg