Search starts for freed convicts not qualified for GCTA release
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday submitted to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) an initial list of 19 convicts who had failed to surrender after being released based on the controversial good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.
“Most of [them] have only a few more months to serve in prison,” Guevarra said, adding that Interior Secretary Eduardo Año was expected to give the Philippine National Police the go signal to start the search on Monday midnight.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) official said a joint task force composed of the DOJ and the Bureau of Corrections was “combing through the case records of each [prisoner] with extreme care to ensure accuracy.”
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered more than 1,900 freed convicts, most of them convicted of heinous crimes, to give themselves up after the DOJ said that the GCTA law did not apply to them.
More than 2,200 ex-convicts surrendered, prompting the joint task force to first determine who among them were not covered by the President’s order and should be freed.
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