Press Release
August 23, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 577:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on the Misapplication of RA 10592


I don't understand as it is baffling why the Justice Secretary made an initial pronouncement about the possible release of rape-slay convict Antonio Sanchez and thousands of other criminal convicts, including the NBP inmate-witnesses in my drug cases, apparently without first checking the very provisions of RA 10592 and its IRR, and the exact import of the Supreme Court's decision in Inmates of NBP v. De Lima, et al. (G.R. Nos. 212719 and 214637).

The Supreme Court in Inmates of NBP v. De Lima, et al. did not rule that all sentences of convicted felons should be commuted without conditions. The Court only ruled that the rules on commutation of sentences for good conduct under RA 10592 should be applied retroactively to the first day of detention.

This only means that Sanchez and the other inmates should first meet the requirement for good conduct in order to benefit from the retroactive application of RA 10592. RA 10592 does not automatically grant convicted felons good conduct time allowance. GCTA is pre-conditioned on the absence of prison infractions during the service of their sentence.

The documented cases of Sanchez's continuing criminal activities while in prison, such as being caught with shabu and marijuana in his prison cell, definitely negates any consideration of good conduct for Sanchez. The same goes for the NBP inmates illegally used as state witnesses against me, and who Sec. Guevarra initially said could all be released anytime soon under the Supreme Court ruling. These 13 NBP inmates all confessed to being involved in the drug trade inside NBP. In fact, seven of them belong to the "Bilibid 19" who were all segregated from the rest of the NBP prisoners for illegal drug trading and possession of contrabands as discovered during the Dec. 15, 2014 raid which I personally led. Where is the "good conduct" here?

Since then, Sec. Guevarra has changed his mind, after he himself floated the possibility that Sanchez and the 13 NBP inmates will be released soon because of Inmates of NBP v. De Lima, et al. He now says that Sanchez might not be released after all. In the first place, Sec. Guevarra did not even have to make that reckless announcement about Sanchez's possible release, if BuCor and the Board of Pardons and Parole have not yet reviewed Sanchez's prison record.

It appears to me that Guevarra's premature announcement was a trial balloon of some sort, but which was immediately burst by an enraged public. Maybe it was precisely to enrage the public, and to garner public support for the death penalty, that Guevarra announced Sanchez's impending release. If yes, it was a costly tactic that backfired on Guevarra.

Clearly, the solution here is not to reinstate the death penalty, but to stop favoring criminals, such as those who allowed themselves to be used as perjured witnesses against political opponents.

Hindi po yung batas, R.A. 10592 or GCTA Law, ang problema. The problem lies in the misapplication or warped or twisted application of the law and possible abuses in its implementation for some insidious agenda. ###

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 577, here:

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