Press Release
September 3, 2019

Go files bill amending Revised Penal Code, seeks to resolve contentious issues by excluding criminals convicted of heinous crimes from GCTA

"Today, I have a solution."

Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go expressed this statement before members of the 18th Congress as he filed on Tuesday, September 2, his Senate Bill (SB) No. 1003, which seeks to amend the Revised Penal Code, particularly Articles 29, 97, 98 and 99, the same provisions which were amended and rendered unclear by RA 10592.

"As I have mentioned yesterday and several times before, the Filipino people want answers and solutions, not endless debates and more questions," Go said.

The proposed bill recognizes that the aforementioned articles in the RPC, as amended by RA 10952, gave the notion that prisoners, including recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees, and persons charged with heinous crimes, are entitled to GCTA benefits.

The bill comes after convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez, who was sentenced to seven terms of reclusion perpetua, was reportedly due for release pursuant to the application of RA 10592.

"Yesterday, Sec. Guevarra pointed out what is lacking in the law. Today, I have solutions. I have filed Senate Bill No. 1003 to clearly state the intent and policy of the law not to extend the benefits of GCTA to prisoners who are convicted of heinous crimes," Go said.

Through SB 1003, Go added a provision that clearly states that convicts of heinous crimes "will not be eligible to be granted time allowances." He also shared that he added a list of heinous crimes to further avoid confusion and a provision that all prisoners for release on the basis of time allowances shall be subject for review.

Go also highlighted that Congress will be informed of the releases, "as the Bureau of Corrections will be required to furnish the Legislature with a report twice a year."

"All of these will form part of our continuing fight against corruption and criminality, and illegal drugs," Go said.

During the hearing, Go also directed questions to the Justice Secretary.

"You stated yesterday that there is a joint committee formed to address the issues surrounding GCTA, the Filipino people deserves to know the proposed remedies regarding the release of convicted felons through GCTA. What are your proposed remedies? Will they be rearrested? How will you implement the re-arrest?"

Go also asked Guevarra on the proposed safeguards that the DOJ can provide so that cases such as Sanchez's will never happen again.

The Senator ended his statement saying that "the law may be ambiguous, but what is clear to me is that there is either negligence or corruption in the way our correctional system is being handled." He added, "I say to the Filipino people - mananagot ang dapat managot."

News Latest News Feed