MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte would decide whether or not to fire Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials after the back-to-back hearings on the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Tuesday, September 3, said while the hearings are going on, its status quo for these officials.
“As regards the officials in the Bureau of Corrections, the President will maintain the status quo until the congressional hearings are concluded,” said Panelo in a statement.
Duterte, he added, “will be monitoring the conduct of the legislative investigation and give appropriate consideration to the findings of Congress.”
On Monday, September 2, the Senate held a joint hearing on the GCTA law and what it said about the early release of heinous crime convicts. The House would hold its hearing on Tuesday, September 9.
Senators had grilled BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon who admitted greenlighting the process for the early release of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez. Saying he had merely been following procedures implemented even before his time, Faeldon emphasized he stopped the process after public outcry.
Duterte himself, according to his trusted aide Senator Bong Go, had instructed Faeldon not to release Sanchez. Malacañang also wanted to send back to jail all heinous crime convicts released due to the GCTA law.
For the Palace, all accountability for the GCTA law mess rest on the shoulders of the BuCor. Panelo slammed comments putting the blame on the Office of the President.
“We stress that the granting of GCTA is not a form of executive clemency, the awarding of which belongs to the Office of the President. The buck in this case stops with the Bureau of Corrections,” said Panelo.
“The actual computation of GCTA does not pass through the Department of Justice (DOJ) and therefore will not even reach the Office of the President before its benefits can be granted to qualified inmates,” he also said.
The GCTA law was enacted during the administration of Benigno Aquino III while the Supreme Court decision making it retroactive was handed down in 2013.
Duterte has projected a presidency that is tough on criminals and injustice, an image the Palace is keen to preserve amid the GCTA law controversy. – Rappler.com
Here are more stories about the Good Conduct Time Allowance law and the Bureau of Corrections:
- Bong Go says ‘heads will roll’ in Sanchez release controversy
- Gaps by both Aquino, Duterte administrations led to GCTA mess
- Good conduct time allowance may be for sale inside Bilibid – Hontiveros
- Lacson: Some convicts in Chiong sisters murder case now out of prison
- Is it legal to send back to jail released heinous crimes convicts?
- Bersamin says DOJ free to revise GCTA rules, anyone free to contest it before SC
- TIMELINE: The GCTA law and the controversy it has stirred