18 more GCTA-beneficiaries beat surrender deadline

(Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

Eighteen more heinous crimes convicts in Western Visayas who were released under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law surrendered to beat the 15-day deadline which ended Sept 19, 2019.

This now brings the total number of surrenderers to 62, the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) said, citing records as of 4 p.m. Thursday.

Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) accounted for most number of surrenderers with 16, followed by Negros Occidental PPO with 13.

On the other hand, Aklan PPO had 12, Capiz PPO with 9, Iloilo City PO with 5, Antique PPO and Bacolod City PO with 3 each, and Guimaras PPO with a lone surrenderer.

PRO-6 records indicated that 149 convicts in Region 6 were freed under the GCTA Law since January 2013.

Most of them are in Negros Occidental with 57, Iloilo province with 29, Bacolod City with 21, Aklan – 15, Capiz – 13, and Iloilo City and Antique with 7 each.

But Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 spokesperson, said that some of the 51 surrenderers cannot be considered part of the 149 GCTA-freed convicts as some of them claimed to have been released from prison through parole.

But since they surrendered, police processed them and will be turned over to the Bureau of Corrections to determine their status.

The Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law can slash by half the sentence of an inmate who demonstrates sustained good behavior.

Prisoners released on parole were allowed to complete their sentences outside detention by the Board of Pardons and Parole subject to certain conditions.

Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, Western Visayas police commanders, said the surrenderers from Panay Island, except Aklan province, were transported to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-District Jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan, Iloilo.

“We don’t have custodial vans or buses to transport them. We don’t also want to endanger their security,” Pamuspusan said.

They BJMP will take charge of transporting the surrenderers to the BuCor facility.

Meanwhile, the Aklan PPO took care of transporting the convicts to Sablayan Penal Colony in Occidental Mindoro, which is near them.

Surrenderers from Negros Occidental and Bacolod City were turned over to BJMP in Bago City.

Starting today, Sept 20, Pamuspusan said unaccounted convicts will be subjected to police manhunt operations.

He said that tracker teams from different police stations and offices are ready to hunt down convicts who refused to voluntarily submit themselves.

Echoing what PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde said, Pamuspusan said they would apply necessary force in an effort to explain President Rodrigo Duterte’s shoot-to-kill order.

The necessary force will be used on those who will violently resist authorities.

It was not clear, though, how and when the guidelines of the P1-million reward for the capture of GCTA-freed convicts will be released.

But Pamuspusan assured they are not part of it.

“You are not rewarded for a job expected of you,” he said.