BuCor releases again 114 convicts
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it would release on Monday the final list of former heinous crime prisoners who may have been erroneously freed under the problematic 2013 good conduct on time allowance (GCTA) policy.
Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said that the DOJ’s oversight committee was to meet on Sunday to finalize the list of former prisoners for rearrest.
He said the DOJ would transmit the list to the Department of the Interior and Local Government on Monday.
A fourth batch of surrenderers numbering 27 was to be released by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Sunday, bringing to 114 the total number of ex-convicts who turned themselves in unnecessarily after President Duterte’s “shoot-to-kill” threat for those who refuse to comply.
Perete said the team reviewing the BuCor’s error-laden list had determined that these 114 surrenders were not among those wanted by the government.
The DOJ on Saturday said the BuCor had begun releasing over the weekend 52 former prisoners surrendered to authorities by mistake after being included in the list convicts freed under the controversial GCTA.
Perete, in a statement, said that two batches from the 52, mostly residing in Metro Manila, were released on Friday; the rest were awaiting arrangements for transportation to the provinces.
Perete added that the DOJ-BuCor Joint Task Force on Friday night also verified for release an additional 35 surrenderers, bringing the total number of those to be released to 87.
Those freed were found to have been paroled, acquitted or have finished serving their sentences.
1,914 heinous crime convicts
The government earlier sought the surrender of 1,914 heinous crime convicts freed under the GCTA law. Mr. Duterte gave them until Sept. 19 to surrender.
However, more than 2,200 former prisoners turned themselves in, prompting the task force to verify first who among the surrenderers were not covered by the President’s order.
The task force was set to craft new guidelines for the implementation of the new GCTA law, which the DOJ said should not benefit heinous crime convicts.
Previous BuCor administrations, however, were found to have applied GCTA to such convicts, triggering a public uproar and several congressional investigations.
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