Press Release
September 21, 2019


With the number of surrenderees exceeding the 1,914 heinous crime convicts that were freed due to the Good Conduct Time Allowance law, Senator Richard J. Gordon stressed the need for better records keeping at the national penitentiaries.

Gordon, chairman of the Committees on Justice and Human Rights and the Accountability of Public Officers & Investigations (Blue Ribbon) that are conducting a joint hearing, said the excessive number of surrenderees proves that even the Department of Justice (DOJ) has no accurate records of prisoners in the country.

"The DOJ, as the agency in-charge of our prisons, should have accurate records of the inmates inside but it is clear that they do not have one. It was near the 12 midnight deadline set by President Duterte for the released prisoners to surrender but the DOJ had yet to clean up the previously released BuCor (Bureau of Corrections) list, which included wrong entries of crimes for convicts, double entries and even prisoners on parole, which should have guided law enforcement agencies in conducting the re-arrest," he noted.

Gordon slammed the sloppy records keeping at the BuCor which was made clear when it couldn't be determined whether some inmates who turned themselves in were convicted of heinous crimes.

A television channel has reported Friday that there were so many surrendering ex-convicts that the Bilibid social hall now resembled a city jail. The congestion had gotten so bad that several surenderees had to be moved to the BuCoR training hall. Before the deadline, the total number of surrenderees had reached 2,009, with 1,773 of them in custody of the BuCor and the 236 with the Philippine National Police.

President Duterte ordered the surrender of all heinous crime convicts mistakenly released via the GCTA law before September 19, claiming that if they did not, they would be treated as fugitives of the law.

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