Roxas to Martires: 'Unquestionably unfounded' to say IRR strayed from GCTA law
MANILA, Philippines – Despite initially questioning why he has to explain himself, former interior chief Mar Roxas told the Ombudsman the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) he had signed merely followed what is in the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
On Wednesday, September 18, the former secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) formally sent his reply to Ombudsman Samuel Martires, who asked Roxas and Senator Leila de Lima, former justice chief, to explain why the IRR they signed in 2014 did not explicitly exclude heinous crime convicts from availing of the GCTA or Republic Act (RA) No. 10592.
Roxas said he has analyzed the IRR and found that it "faithfully reflects the provisions of RA 10592."
"This being the case and for the reasons discussed below, allegations that the IRR has strayed from the law on which it is based are unquestionably unfounded," said the ex-DILG secretary.
To prove his point, Roxas provided two tables comparing parts of the GCTA law and its IRR. (READ: Gaps by both Aquino, Duterte administrations led to GCTA mess)
LOOK: Ex-DILG chief Mar Roxas' reply to the letter of Ombudsman Samuel Martires over the IRR of the GCTA Law. Roxas says allegations that the IRR has strayed from the law on which it is based "unquestionably unfounded." @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/IBhXCYmAt2— Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) September 18, 2019
Roxas earlier questioned why the Ombudsman wanted him and De Lima to explain themselves, telling Martires the IRR "cannot go beyond" what is found in the GCTA law. (READ: Roxas to Ombudsman: 'Why target us when we only followed GCTA law?’)
On Wednesday, Roxas told the Ombudsman that concerns regarding the soundness of the provisions of the GCTA law and the IRR are best left to the executive department, or even Congress.
"Concerns regarding what is and what is not found in both the IRR and RA 10592, as well as questions on the continued wisdom or soundness of the provisions thereof in light of recent developments, are matters of policy best left to the sound discretion of the executive departments concerned and, perhaps, of Congress itself," said Roxas.
De Lima, who is detained over multiple drug charges, took on a more feisty tone in her letter. She told the Ombudsman she does not have to explain the GCTA IRR, as this is a task better suited for incumbent Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.