BuCor’s GCTA arrest list ‘unchecked, rushed’

Rambo Talabong

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BuCor’s GCTA arrest list ‘unchecked, rushed’
'Yung list na 'yan, mabilisan pong pinagawa sa amin,' says suspended Bureau of Corrections documentations chief Ramoncito Roque

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s list of released heinous crime convicts due to the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law was both unchecked and rushed, one of its officials admitted on Thursday, September 12.

In the Senate hearing into the anomalies surrounding the BuCor, suspended documentations chief Ramoncito Roque said their list of almost 2,000 prisoners was made in a rush for a press conference.

‘Yung list na ‘yan, mabilisan pong pinagawa sa amin. Magpe-press conference po kasi sa Palawan, kaya ‘di po namin na-check nang mabuti po ‘yan,” Roque said before the Senate blue ribbon and human rights committee, responding to questions from Senator Richard Gordon.

(That list was made in a rush. It’s because there was a press conference in Palawan, so we weren’t able to check that well.)

This triggered Gordon to scold the BuCor’s officials, saying that with or without a press conference, they should have a thoroughly checked record.

“What does that got to do with the press conference? You have a list, you should take care of it. The fire grows, the trust of the people is diminished because of your scrappy execution,” Gordon said in a mix of English and Filipino.

According to Roque, the BuCor is preparing a new list as of Wednesday. It is unclear when they will pass it on to the police. 

Why this matters: Roque was referring to the list of 1,914 heinous crime convicts that the government has been using after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered for their surrender. 

On September 5, Duterte ordered all heinous crime convicts released through the GCTA law to surrender or be chased by cops.

Rappler obtained a copy of the list through a police source, and found that not all of the 1,914 prisoners listed were released due to the GCTA. Most of them too were also released under the Duterte administration. (IN NUMBERS: The freed 1,914 heinous crime convicts)

As of Thursday, 281 released prisoners have surrendered to the police, including those who have not been convicted of heinous crimes. Some 47 were already turned over to the BuCor. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.