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Rep. Tulfo tells MACHRA: Heinous criminals must be in caskets when they get out of prison

Heinous criminals
Photo shows (middle) ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Erwin Tulfo in a posterity shot after attending the MACHRA Balitaan of the Manila City Hall Reporters' Association, along with his chief of staff (left) Jerico Javier. At Tulfo's right and left are MACHRA President Itchie Cabayan and Vice President Andi Garcia, who also served as hosts in the said forum held at the Century Seafood Restaurant.

Hardened criminals convicted for heinous crimes must only be able to come out of prison when they are already in caskets, saying life sentence is being rendered useless because of the existing good conduct time allowance (GCTA).

Thus said ACT-CIS partylist Representative Erwin Tulfo Rep. Tulfo, who said that he will be pushing for the abolition of the GCTA for cases involving heinous crimes if the restoration of death penalty cannot be revived at all.

Speaking at the ‘MACHRA Balitaan’ of the Manila City Hall Reporters’ Association, Rep. Tulfo lamented that because of the GCTA, criminals convicted for heinous crimes get to enjoy freedom after only a decade or so, which is an injustice to the families of their victims who will even have to fear retaliation.

Tulfo said he had already tasked his legal team to review the law regarding the imposition of life sentence which is only equivalent to 40 years.

“Sa US, pag sinabing life sentence, lalabas ka sa kulungan nasa ataul ka na. Dapat i-adopt na pag heinous crimes gaya ng massacre, isulong na lang natin na ‘life sentence talaga,” he said.

Tulfo lamented that because of GCTA, the 40-year equivalent of life sentence is reduced to 20 years so that a young convict gets out of prison at age 50 or 60.

“After 20 yrs tatawanan ka pa, neknek mo, nakalabas na ko. Pano ka ngayon patay na mister mo, anak mo? Sabi rehab daw. Paano mo irerehab ‘yung mga buwang, mga druglord na nakatikim na ng marangyang buhay, nang-rape ng anak niya tapos pinatay pa nya buong pamilya tapos makakalaya after 20 years,” Tulfo said.

“Pag heinous crime like Maguindanao massacare, ‘yung 40 years, sa 50 pinatay mo concurrent ang pag-serve ng 40 years. It’s useless. Mabuti kung 10 pinatay mo bawat isa life sentence bale 400 years. Paano naman ang buhay nung mga pinatay? Dapat lalabas ka bilangguan nasa ataul na para naman ‘yung mga nabiktima, maramdaman ang hustisya,” he explained further.

According to Tulfo, he may not be for firing squad but will consider a more humane way of death penalty, by employing lethal injection where a convicted criminal will be merely put to sleep.

“This is the more humane way, ‘yung patulugin… mas makatao dahil may mga nagsasabi, wala tayong karapatan kunin ang buhay ng iba. Sa lethal injection, lalabas ka sa bilangguang nasa ataul na,” he added.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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