Lawmaker presses review of Good Conduct Time Allowance

ALARMED by the release of four Chinese drug lords solons pushed for the thorough review of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) provided mandated by Republic Act 10592.

Both ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap and PBA party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles wrote  to the Department of Justice and Bureau of Correction (BuCor)to put on hold the release of former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez pending review of the GCTA.

Yap filed House Resolution 280 calling for a congressional review of the GCTA following the reported impending release of Sanchez who was convicted of the rape and murder of then 19-year-old Eileen Sarmenta and killing of her companion Allan Gomez.

“Lubos na nakakaalarma ang balita na pinalayang apat na Chinese drug lords noong Hunyo pa dahli di umano sa implementasyon ng RA 10952 o ng bagong komputasyon ng Good Conduct Time Allowance. Nauna na rin napabalita ang posibilidad ng maagang pagpapalaya kay ex-mayor Antonio Sanchez dahil sa batas na ito. Ito ang naging pangamba ko noon na baka marami pang iba na hindi nararapat mapalaya ang makalabas ng kulungan dahil sa batas na ito,”  Yap said.

“Ngayon, mas lalong tumindi ang ating panawagan na madaliin ang pagbibigay aksyon sa ating isinumiteng House Resolution 280 na pag-aralan muli ang nasabing batas at magpasa ng amendments dito upang pagtibayin ito,” he added.

For his part, Nograles said Congress should conduct a deeper probe into allegations behind the circumstances involving Sanchez.

Nograles said there are three major issues that need to be clarified.

Nograles said that there is a need to find out the truth behind the claim of Sanchez’s family that a release order had been in fact signed even before the news of the former mayor’s imminent release broke out. They claimed that Sanchez was supposed to have been released last August 20 being a beneficiary of the GCTA.

“We need to know the existence of this document and who signed it. Too bad one of the people who can apparently shed light on this was murdered last Wednesday,” Nograles said referring to Traya.

Nograles said he has officially requested from Faeldon the list of all inmates who have benefited from the GCTA from 2013 to present as he noted that the controversy over the supposed release of Sanchez might be just a small part of a bigger conspiracy.

“With the news that four convicted drug lords were allegedly released, the immediate investigation of any abuse of this law passed in President Noynoy Aquino’s time is necessary,” Nograles said.

“I have personally written to Director General Faeldon for a list of names of all those convicts released under the GCTA law from 2013 to present but my request has been denied by his executive assistant for the protection of the released convicts. According to Faeldon’s office, my only remedy is to get a court order for his office to comply with my inquiry,” Nograles added.

Meanwhile, Nograles cited a viral photo of the councilor of Calauan and Sanchez that appears to have been taken outside of the NBP.  The picture was posted last May 10 by Calauan Councilor Amty Sanchez in her Facebook account but has since been taken down.

Sanchez claims that this was taken in a hospital but there are also claims that he is constantly seen roaming casually in Calauan instead of being locked up in his prison cell.

Nograles said that if it is true that former mayor Sanchez, who has been convicted of rape and multiple counts of murder, has been enjoying the life of a free man instead of suffering for his crimes the credibility of the country’s justice system is in serious question.