A total of 692 prisoners prematurely freed on account of the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law have turned themselves into the authorities,
two days before President Rodrigo Duterte’s shoot-to-kill order takes effect.
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Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said the 692 prisoners are in the custody of the Bureau of Corrections.
The surrenders constitute about 36 percent of the total number of 1,914 PDLs who were convicted of heinous crimes but erroneously released by BuCor due to wrongful application of Republic Act 10592 or the expanded GCTA Law. President Duterte ordered their surrender or face warrantless arrest after Sept. 19.
The new number of surrenderers came after 80 prisoners turned themselves over to the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and BuCor on Monday.
On Sept. 4, President Duterte said he is giving the 1,914 prisoners 15 days or until Sept. 19 to surrender. After that, he said, they would be considered fugitives from the law and be hunted down
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said the government would start making warrantless arrests after Thursday.
“You have not completed your sentence so there is reason, legal basis to have you arrested because that is a continuing offense. Each minute, each hour, each day that you refuse to turn yourself in is a continuing commission of an offense and for that reason law enforcement agencies may arrest you even without a warrant,” Guevarra said.
Guevarra also said his department would not engage in “unproductive blame” over the wrong application of the GCTA Law.
“We at the DOJ won’t dwell on things that had come to pass, much less waste our time on an unproductive blame game.” Guevarra said in a text message to reporters.
“The revised IRR (implementing rules and regulations) reflects our best interpretation of Republic Act 10592 as it was actually crafted, finalized, and signed,” he added.
Guevarra made the statement after detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima asked the Office of the Ombudsman to ask the DOJ to explain the circumstances surrounding the adoption of controversial IRR of 10592.
She and then-Interior secretary Manuel Roxas II had drafted the IRR for the law.
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