Inmates run to SC

September 30, 2019
Supreme Court

Petition to Supreme Court alleges new GCTA rules ‘disadvantageous’ to all prisoners including heinous crime convicts

INMATES of the New Bilibid Prison yesterday questioned before the Supreme Court the legality of several provisions of the revised

Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the controversial Republic Act 10592 or the Expanded Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law.

In a petition, the NBP inmates claimed that the questioned provisions are “disadvantageous to any prisoners.”

The Expanded GCTA Law has increased the reward of time for a person deprived of liberty (PDLs). In June of this year, the SC ruled that the implementation of the law should be retroactive, meaning it will cover PDLs even before the law was enacted.

However, under the revised IRR, recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees, those charged with heinous crimes and an accused who, upon being summoned for the execution of his sentence has failed to surrender voluntarily before a court of law, are excluded from GCTA under RA 10592.

The revised IRR also stated that disqualified PDLs under RA 10592, such as heinous crime convicts, but who were convicted before the law became effective in 2013 shall be entitled to GCTA under the Revised Penal Code.

The same IRR also stated that heinous crime convicts, and who were convicted after the law became effective in 2013, shall not be entitled to any type of GCTA.

“Ultimately, herein petitioners and those who are similarly situated are the ones who are suffering and are continuing to suffer. Unless these issues befitting our country are clarified by judicial pronouncement of no less than the Supreme Court, they shall continue to suffer from it,” the petitioners averred.

A joint committee by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reviewed the GCTA and introduced changes after the controversy brought about by the botched release of former Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez.

Sanchez was convicted for the 1993 rape and murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and killing of her schoolmate Allan Gomez.