Latin America

IN NUMBERS: Freed convicts rearrested amid GCTA mess

Rambo Talabong
IN NUMBERS: Freed convicts rearrested amid GCTA mess
(3rd UPDATE) After the threat of police pursuit from President Rodrigo Duterte himself, released heinous crime convicts surrender to the Philippine National Police across the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Threatened they would be hunted down by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, freed heinous crime convicts have surrendered in trickles to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“I will give you 15 days liberty provided you make yourself available anytime that you will be called for investigation to have a recomputation,” Duterte said in a Malacañang speech on September 4.

This comes after the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law that led to their early release prompted closer scrutiny.

The possibility of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez being released fueled the fire, after a July 2019 Supreme Court ruling allowed the retroactive application of the GCTA law.

But the GCTA goes beyond Sanchez.

Since its passage in 2013, it has led to the release of some 1,914 heinous crime convicts, who have been ordered to surrender to authorities or risk being tracked down by a police team.

This order for their surrender, lawyers pointed out, violates the law: the Revised Penal Code specifies that the allowances granted to the freed prisoners could not be revoked. Duterte, however, reasoned that their release has become “null and void.”

Rappler tallies the numbers of surrenderers. The numbers will be updated over time.

118 – convicts rearrested by the PNP as of September 8

They surrendered and were rearrested in the following regions:

  • Cagayan Valley – 36
  • Mimaropa – 25
  • Bicol – 13
  • Central Visayas – 10
  • Caraga – 7
  • Ilocos Region – 5
  • Cordillera Administrative Region – 5
  • Metro Manila – 4
  • Central Luzon – 3
  • Calabarzon – 3
  • Eastern Visayas – 3
  • Northern Mindanao – 2
  • Western Visayas – 2

The crimes they committed have been broken down as follows:

  • Murder – 39
  • Rape – 39
  • Robbery with homicide – 12
  • Robbery with rape – 6
  • Rape with homicide – 4
  • Homicide – 4
  • Parricide – 4
  • Illegal drugs – 3
  • Murder and robbery – 1
  • Murder and frustrated murder – 1
  • Attempted rape with homicide – 1
  • Kidnapping and murder – 1
  • Rape and arson – 1
  • Carnapping – 1
  • Robbery – 1

After their detention, the surrenderers are set to be turned over to the Bureau of Corrections or BuCor, which would then detain them again in one of its penal colonies across the country.


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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.