By Aaron Recuenco
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has started sorting out the names of convicted criminals who were freed under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law but were ordered to be put back in jail due to allegedly anomalous implementation by some personnel of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said his agency was already identifying who among the GCTA-freed convicts are residents of Metro Manila, or have last known address and relatives living in the metropolis.
“What we have are the initial list so far, and this is what we are currently working on to facilitate the compliance on President Duterte’s order to have them all accounted,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar was the one tasked by the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership to coordinate with the BuCor to obtain the copy of the almost 2,000 convicts freed under GCTA.
As soon as 15-day period lapses, police tracker teams will be deployed across the country to start the manhunt.
On the part of the NCRPO, Eleazar said that they will sort out the list by police districts. The lists will then be distributed to the five district directors who in turn, are expected to tap the precinct and station commanders in running after the freed convicts under their respective areas of jurisdiction.
But Eleazar was quick to clarify that the operation to arrest the freed convicts will start after the 15-day period given by President Duterte for them to surrender.
As soon as the period lapses, police forces are expected to start the operation.
For the manhunt, Eleazar said their priority would be re-arrest of the freed convicts who faced heinous crime, particularly those related to illegal drugs.
The NCRPO chief, on the other hand, has already instructed police commanders and station commanders to start coordinating with barangay officials for the identification of the freed convicts possibly under their communities.
Eleazar said the purpose was to encourage the convicts and their relatives to surrender and as a way of early preparations in order for the policemen to know what to do and where to go once the 15-day period lapses.
The implementation of the GCTA Law became controversial after reports disclosed that former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez was included in the list. This raised a howl among netizens and public condemnation, saying Sanchez is not qualified to avail of it.
Allegations of corrupt BuCor officials selling GCTA from P50,000 to P1.5 million also surfaced.
President Duterte earlier asked BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon, a former Marine captain who joined the idealist young soldiers fighting corruption during the Oakwood mutiny in 2003.