By Jeffrey Damicog
A fourth convict in the Chiong sisters’ rape-slay was also released on account of good behavior under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law, the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed Monday.
Undersecretary Markk Perete, concurrent DOJ spokesman, said that aside from Ariel Balansag, Alberto Cano, and Josman Aznar, James Anthony Uy was also freed.
“Just confirmed that he (Uy) was also released, but that he will also surrender with Aznar,” Perete told reporters.
Balansag and Cano surrendered straight to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Friday night, while Aznar and Uy are expected to follow suit.
The four convicts have been serving their sentences at the NBP following their 1999 conviction for the rape-slay of Chiong sisters Jacqueline and Marijoy in 1997 in Cebu.
The other persons convicted in the rape-slay case were Francisco Juan “Paco” Larrañaga, the great-grandson of the late President Sergio Osmeña Sr.; Rowen Adlawan, and James Andrew Uy.
President Duterte had previously ordered the 1,914 inmates released due to the GCTA law to surrender to authorities or risk re-arrest and possible death.
If they refuse to surrender within 15 days, Duterte is mulling a P1-million reward for the capture of every inmate, dead or alive.
Meanwhile, a joint committee from the DOJ and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is currently reviewing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10592, the GCTA law.
RA 1059 was passed in 2013 and amended provisions of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) to increase GCTAs of inmates and allow their much earlier released.
The committee is set to finish its review by Sept. 12 and, while doing so, Guevarra has ordered the suspension of the processing of GCTAs of inmates.