Time running out for GCTA-released heinous crime convicts to turn themselves in

Published September 18, 2019, 2:28 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Andrea Aro 

Heinous crime convicts, who were released because of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law, have less than 24 hours left until the 15-day grace period from to surrender runs out, which will make them fugitives of the law, said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra Wednesday.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra announces during a press briefing in Malacañang that the matter concerning the closure of the resorts in Boracay is currently one of the top priorities that are being discussed by the cabinet citing that it would not only concern the environmental aspect of the issue but the economic impact as well. (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

“The original list was 1,900, so far ang mga nag turn themselves voluntarily in by today baka nasa 700 plus, and we expect a lot more to turn themselves in tomorrow (Thursday) the deadline cause otherwise there will be considered as fugitives already,” Guevarra said in an interview with CNN.

“But we’re reviewing a list and will come up with cleaned up list by tomorrow, which is the deadline. Para malaman yung mga hindi dapat masama sa listahan na yon,” he added.

Guevarra stressed that those who were supposed to turn themselves in must have been convicted for a heinous crime that was given benefits under the GCTA law.

President Duterte will be offering P1-million bounty for the capture of each of the convicts who will fail to surrender on Thursday.

Guevarra explained that those who turned themselves in will just be completing the same sentence they did not complete.

“There is no issue about double jeopardy because we are talking about the same penalty. We are not talking about being imprison for the same offense and being imprison twice? No, because you are simply completing the same sentence that you have not completed, so, there is no double jeopardy involved there,” Guevarra said.

According to Guevarra, the release of the heinous crime convicts did not go through the office of the justice secretary.

“The actual approval of GCTA is an operational day-to-day thing. It did not go up all the way to the secretary of justice but I guess the actual release of the person might have to be made know to the secretary of justice,” he said.