An intelligence report has affirmed that buying of good conduct points inside the New Bilibid Prison exists, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Thursday.
Sotto’s intel revealed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials receive millions in exchange for Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) award to convicts as stated under Republic Act No. 10592 or the Revised Penal Code.
President Rodrigo Duterte fired BuCor Chief Nicanor Faeldon on Wednesday over the release of high-risk prisoners through GCTA.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government urged the 1,700 prisoners convicted of heinous crimes but erroneously released through the GCTA to surrender to avoid further conflicts with the law.
President Duterte has earlier ordered the prisoners’ surrender in view of the controversy over the implementation of the GCTA Law.
Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, DILG spokesman, said that in compliance with the directive of the President, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the Philippine National Police to prepare tracker teams to arrest those who will not submit themselves to the proper authorities after 15 days.
Malaya said the order to re-arrest is consistent with prevailing jurisprudence, particularly the decision of the Supreme Court in People versus Tan where it was held that the “prisoner’s re-arrest would not place him twice in jeopardy because his re-incarceration is merely a continuation of the penalty that he had not completely served due to the erroneous act of the warden; it is not a new or subsequent conviction.”
“Neither would his re-arrest deprive him of liberty without due process of law, because he was not yet entitled to liberty at the time he was released,” Malaya said.
The PNP, acccording to Malaya, is now coordinating with BuCor for the list of those covered by the Presidential Directive.
The DILG will also request the Department of Justice to immediately place on the Immigration watchlist said individuals to prevent them from leaving the country.
(With a report from Francis T. Wakefield)