JUSTICE Undersecretary Mark Perete yesterday disclosed that a fourth convict in the 1997 rape and murder of the Chiong sisters in Cebu was also released because of the good conduct time allowance rule.
But according to Perete, convict James Anthony Uy has signified willingness to surrender along with third convict Josman Aznar.
Last week, Justice Undersecretary Deo Marco disclosed that two persons convicted for the infamous rape and murder case who were “wrongfully” released under the GCTA rule, already surrendered last Friday night.
In a separate interview, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed this development. The convicts who surrendered were Ariel Balansag and Alberto Caño.
“Balansag and Caño surrendered to the BuCor (Bureau of Coorrections) yesterday (Friday), (as) per info obtained from BuCor,” Guevarra said.
At the same time, Perete disclosed that the Department of Justice will look into the revelation of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año that several convicts released under GCTA have already left the country.
“We are double-checking this with BI as the preliminary report we received from them is to the contrary,” Perete said.
In 1997, sisters Marijoy, 21, and Jacqueline Chiong, 23, disappeared while waiting for their ride home outside a mall in Cebu City.
Marijoy’s badly-decomposed body was found later but Jacqueline’s body, to this day, is still missing.
The Philippine National Police will seek the help of Interpol in tracking down convicts who may have fled abroad after being set free as a result of the Good Conduct Time Allowance as soon as the 15-day deadline given them by President Duterte expires, officials said yesterday.
“We will coordinate with the Interpol to help us track down these inmates, both foreigners and Filipinos if they are hiding in foreign countries,” said PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard m. Banac.
The PNP spokesperson said that as of yesterday, a total of 119 convicts out of the 1,914 released through GCTA have already surrendered to the police force amid apprehension that some of them could have already fled Manila.
With Alfred Dalizon