By Jeffrey Damicog
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is thoroughly checking its records if any of inmates released through Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) have left the Philippines, assured Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesman and Undersecretary Mark Perete on Tuesday (Sept. 10).
“We hope to finish counterchecking really soon,” said Perete who has supervision over the BI.
“We will provide updates once the BI verification process is completed,” he told reporters.
The BI conducted the verification after Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Ano said he has received reports that, among the 1,914 convicts released through GCTA, there have been a number who have already been able to leave the country.
This was contrary to earlier pronouncements from the DOJ that the BI has assured that none have left the country.
“Our understanding is that the DILG made the statement based on reports that reached them,” said Perete.
“However, counterchecking of the real identities of the individuals can only be done by BI,” he pointed out.
Perete said the DOJ has also reached out to the DILG to reveal the identities of the convicts who have already fled the country.
“We understand that the DILG is in the course of verifying such raw reports,” the spokesman noted.
“In the meantime, the Bureau of Immigration continues to check its database to account for any possible departures of Individuals included in the list provided by the Bureau of Corrections,” he assured.