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DOJ vows prompt action on improperly released convicts

by Benjamin Pulta 
August 31, 2019

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (File photo)



MANILA -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said his agency will act promptly on persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), who were released improperly under the Republic Act No. 10592, particularly those charged with heinous offenses.

"The DOJ (Department of Justice) has nothing to do with the release of around 200 PDLs immediately after the SC decision came out last June. No requests for approval were received by the DOJ," Guevarra told newsmen Tuesday.

"We will act very soon regarding the case of those PDLs convicted of heinous crimes who were prematurely released on account of improper GCTAs" he added.

A joint review on the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 10592 providing for the grant of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) credits is being undertaken by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Justice. It aims to examine the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) and the Uniform Policy and Guidelines on the computation of credits and allowances provided under RA 10592.

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The joint review will determine inconsistencies between the law and the IRR and the 10-day suspension will give the joint DILG and DOJ team ample time to revisit its provisions and make the necessary adjustments in the IRR or recommend amendments to Congress, if necessary.

The Bureau of Corrections is under the DOJ while the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, which runs all district and city jails, is under the DILG.

The impending review of the law's IRR came in the wake of public uproar following earlier reports that convicted rapist and murderer, former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez is among those who will be entitled to an early release from prison due to a June 25 Supreme Court (SC) ruling.

The SC, however, clarified that the ruling merely interpreted the law and did not order Sanchez's release. (PNA)

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