By Leslie Ann Aquino
This was how a church official view the revised implementing rules and regulations of the Republic Act 10592, also known as the Good Conduct Time Allowance law.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care Executive Secretary Rodolfo Diamante believes the revised IRR was a diversion on the issue of the alleged corruption in the implementation of the law.
He said the revised IRR was also contrary to the law and its spirit.
“Their interpretation of who should benefit from Expanded GCTA is I believe is contrary to the law and the rulings of the Supreme Court,” said Diamante.
“The interpretation that those convicted of heinous crimes can not avail of the GCTA runs contrary to the laws objectives stated even in the IRR,” he added.
The IRR, Diamante said defeats the intent of the law to be more “restorative and rehabilitative.”
“The essence of the law on GCTA is to give chance to those who have done well in prison… It does not look at the crime committed but on the behavior of the person while inside. This is not a new law. It just revised the already existing law,” he said.
That’s why; he said the Bureau of Corrections need to do proper and appropriate vetting on each prisoner to be released.
Diamante added: There must also be “proof” of good conduct.
However, he said the law was used to grant favor to those with connections and money.
“It was corrupted,” said Diamante.
Based on the revised IRR, inmates who are recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapists, and those charged with heinous crimes are ineligible from GCTA.