By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
Ombudsman Samuel Martires has asked detained Senator Leila De Lima and former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas to explain why the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10592 crafted during their term included the persons not qualified for release on account of good conduct.
In a letter dated September 6 but served only on September 10, Martires informed both De Lima and Roxas that his office has opened a fact-finding investigation on the alleged irregularities in the implementation of R.A. 10592.
“In this regard, this Office requests the submission, within three days from receipt hereof, of a written explanation/clarification on why the foregoing provision in the IRR does not contain the same disqualifications as enumerated in the last paragraph of Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 1 of R.A. 10592,” the letter stated.
Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code excluded “recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and persons charged with heinous crimes” to benefit from good conduct time allowance.
Martires, however pointed out that Rule IV, Section 3 of the IRR crafted by Roxas and De Lima in 2014 only excluded “recidivists, accused who have been convicted previously twice or more than times of any crime, and an accused who upon being summoned for the execution of his sentence has failed to surrender voluntarily before a court of law.”
The exclusion of those accused of heinous crimes in the IRR of RA 10592 is being blamed for the release of close to 2,000 inmates mostly accused of heinous crimes on account of good conduct since the law was signed in 2013.