Hunt on for freed convicts

September 05, 2019
Oscar D. Albayalde

Albayalde sends tracker teams after 1,700 priso-ners released thru GCTA.

PHILIPPINE National Police tracker teams will go after the released inmates President Rodrigo Duterte has called on to voluntarily return to authorities’ custody.

PNP chief General Oscar D. Albayalde directed all police units nationwide  to immediately receive and account for about 1,700 national prisoners released through Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) who will heed the order of the President, and opt to surrender within the given 15-day grace period.

“Likewise, tracker teams will now be deployed to locate these convicts, who will be treated as fugitives if they choose not to surrender. As fugitives from justice, these convicts can be subjected to warrantless arrest,” said PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac.

Banac said that “to ensure inter-agency coordination and secure the exact list and addresses of these convicts, we will designate a liaison officer with the Department of Justice and BUCOR.”

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año also gave the same directive to the PNP.

To avoid any problems, Seccretary Año urged those who have been convicted of heinous crimes and released because of the GCTA to surrender immediately to the nearest police station.

The DILG will also request the Department of Justice to immediately place on the Immigration Watch list the individuals to prevent them from leaving the country.

10 yield Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday told senators not more than 10 freed convicts have surrendered following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to turn themselves in within 15 days.

“Confidentially, meron but we can’t mention…” Guevarra response to Senator Panfilo Lacson.

Lacson said there was no need to identify the 10.  He just wanted to find out who had heeded the President’s order to surrender, he said.

“That’s a good indication. That’s a good development,” Lacson said. “Pwede bang malaman kung mga ilan more or less, 10, 20, 30?”

“Not more than 10,” Guevarra answered.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said that the 1,914 heinous crime convicts inadvertedly released will be placed on the Bureau of Immigration lookout bulletin.

During the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon and Justice committees, Guevarra said they already got the list of the released convicts, and forwarded it to the Bureau of Immigration.

“We got this morning the list of those PDLs (persons deprived liberty) who were convicted of heinous crimes but were released on account of GCTA, and we forwarded it to the BI for appropriate action,” he said.

“Structurally, it is the DOJ that will issue ILBO (Immigration Look-Out Bulletin Order) and that will be addressed to the Bureau of Immigration so we will do that immediately this morning.”

The Justice secretary was responding to Lacson who had expressed concern that the inmates who were freed could leave the country.

“In the advent of the pronouncement made by the President, the directive that the 1,914 released heinous crime convicts should surrender in 15 days. I’m just wondering…what if some of them would attempt to leave the country?” Lacson said.

No Faeldon

Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Director General Nicanor Faeldon did not show up at the Senate’s probe inn the issue of the implementation of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

“I was told just this morning that nakikiusap yung abogado ni Mr. Faeldon kung maaari, di daw siya dadalo,” said Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee.

However, Gordon said they will not impose any sanction to Faeldon, as for now.

“Tinanong ko yung mga kapwa ko senador kung maaring di na siya (Faeldon) darating. Importante na makarating siya pero ang present attitude namin is to be magnanimous at the mean time unless there are other information that may come out that we will require his presence once again,” he said.

“So we will be reserving that right now. Although he has a subpoena we will not put him under any sanctions,” the senator added. 

With Marlon Purificacion