Over 500 GCTA-freed convicts back in jail

Rambo Talabong

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Over 500 GCTA-freed convicts back in jail

LeAnne Jazul

The update comes 9 days after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered prisoners released through the controversial GCTA law to surrender or be hunted down by cops

MANILA, Philippines – Over 500 convicts who have been freed through the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law have been rearrested, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Saturday, September 14.

“As of today, a total of 505 have surrendered and in BuCor’s custody,” DOJ Undersecretary Markk Perete told reporters in a text message. (IN NUMBERS: The freed 1,914 heinous crime convicts)

Why the surrenders? The convicts were released through the GCTA law. Passed in 2013, the law allowed prisoners to cut down their incarcretation time if they behave behind bars.

It was declared retroactively applicable by the Supreme Court in June 2019, igniting a public outcry over the possible release of convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez. That botched release of Sanchez led to calls for review of the law and the legitimacy of its beneficiaries.

Why this matters: With immense pressure on the government on its implementation of the GCTA law, President Rodrigo Duterte on September 5  ordered all heinous crime convicts released through good conduct to surrender or be arrested by the PNP.

The PNP and the BuCor have been using a rushed and unchecked list as basis for the rearrests, however, and so far, they have also been arresting GCTA beneficiaries who were not convicted of heinous crimes. – 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.