SENATOR Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa moved to disqualify inmates in Buidling No. 14 of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in Muntinlupa from coverage of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) because of their continued involvement in illegal drug trade.
Dela Rosa made the suggestion to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra during the joint hearing of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Blue Ribbon Committee on Tuesday.
The neophyte senator asked that his suggestion be taken into consideration when the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) deliberate on the amendments to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10592 which extends the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) to qualified prisoners or persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
Dela Rosa said that PDLs confined in BuCor’s Building No. 14 are considered not in good behavior because of their continuous engagement in the illegal drug trade while in prison.
“I would suggest to the Secretary of Justice na sana isama niyo dun (sa revised IRR) sir na once nasa loob ka ng building 14, you are not eligible for GCTA... in case ma-approve by this body yung sinasabi ni Senate President kanina na we will vote for the recall of the IRR at ibalik sa DOJ at DILG para baguhin in accordance with the spirit na gusto (ng Congress), yung na-envision ng legislators na nag-craft ng law na yan, I would suggest to the SoJ na sana isama nyo dun sir na once nasa loob ka ng building 14, you are not eligible for GCTA,” Dela Rosa said. “The reason why... kung bakit natin sila nilagay sa Building 14 dahil yung mga drug lord na yan, they are continuously engaging in illegal drug business. Kaya nilagay natin doon para ma-stop yung kanilang ginagawa so, meaning they are not in good conduct behavior habang nasa loob ng building,” he explained.
Guevarra agreed to consider Dela Rosa’s suggestion.
RA 10592 was passed in 2013 which was intended to decongest the country’s prisons. It also provides second chance to reformed convicts.
During the recent Senate hearing in aid of legislation, several senators were one in saying that PDLs convicted due to heinous crimes and those who committed grave offenses while in prison do not deserve reduced prison terms.