By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Leila de Lima on Friday insisted that the original implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law are consistent with the law itself.
De Lima issued the statement after the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently released the revised IRR for the GCTA law following the botched release of the 11,000 convicted inmates, including rape-slay convict former Calauan (Laguna) mayor Antonio Sanchez.
“There is no irregularity or incorrectness in the original IRR of the GCTA law, which was issued as an institutional output of the DOJ and the DILG, during the Aquino administration,” De Lima said in a statement.
The senator also said the IRR of the GCTA law is in keeping with the principle of restorative justice.
“The IRR is consistent with the law. Hindi mali ang batas na ang orihinal na layunin ay magpatupad ng tunay na repormang correctional at lalong hindi mali ang IRR nito (The law is right in its original intention which is to introduce correctional reforms and its IRR are consistent with it),” she said.
The revised IRR of the Expanded GCTA Law now categorically excludes all convicts of heinous crime from availing themselves of GCTA and other time allowances.
De Lima said she hopes that the Duterte administration will run after the implementors of the GCTA law who abused its provisions and file appropriate criminal and administrative charges against them in order to rid the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) of corruption.
“I hope that the administration will stop looking for scapegoats to recover from the GCTA mess and instead hold the greedy and corrupt BuCor and prison officers and personnel accountable for shortening the prison term of totally and notoriously undeserving inmates,” she pointed out.
President Duterte had earlier blamed De Lima and former DILG chief Manuel “Mar” Roxas II for the confusing provisions of the IRR of the GCTA law which led to the release of nearly 2,000 inmates from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Duterte had ordered the surrender of the released convicts or be regarded as fugitives.
The Senate has also launched its investigation into the GCTA law and other anomalies in the BuCor and the NBP.