Press Release
September 4, 2019

PDLs from Building No. 14 should be disqualified from GCTA grant - Dela Rosa

SENATOR Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa moved to disqualify Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) incarcerated inside Buidling No. 14 of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in Muntinlupa for the grant of GCTA because of their continuous engagement in illegal drug trade.

Dela Rosa directed the suggestion to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra during the joint hearing of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Blue Ribbon Committee yesterday, September 3. The neophyte senator is asking to consider and include the said provision when the concerned government agencies including the Department of Justice (DoJ) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) deliberate on the possible amendments to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10592 which extends the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) given to qualified PDLs.

Dela Rosa supported his suggestion by saying that PDLs confined in BuCor's Building No. 14 are considered not in good behavior because of their continuous engagement in the illegal drug trade while in prison.

"I would suggest to the Secretary of Justice na sana isama niyo dun (sa revised IRR) sir na once nasa loob ka ng building 14, you are not eligible for GCTA... in case ma-approve by this body yung sinasabi ni Senate President kanina na we will vote for the recall of the IRR at ibalik sa DOJ at DILG para baguhin in accordance with the spirit na gusto (ng Congress), yung na-envision ng legislators na nag-craft ng law na yan, I would suggest to the SoJ na sana isama nyo dun sir na once nasa loob ka ng building 14, you are not eligible for GCTA," Dela Rosa said. "The reason why... kung bakit natin sila nilagay sa Building 14 dahil yung mga drug lord na yan, they are continuously engaging in illegal drug business. Kaya nilagay natin doon para ma-stop yung kanilang ginagawa so, meaning they are not in good conduct behavior habang nasa loob ng building," he further explained.

Guevarra, in return, agreed to consider Dela Rosa's suggestion. RA 10592 was passed in 2013 which was intended to decongest the country's prison cells. It also provides second chance to reformed convicts.

During the recent senate hearing in aid of legislation, several senators are one in saying that PDLs convicted due to heinous crimes and those who committed grave offenses while in prison do not deserve reduced prison terms.

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