DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Davao Region’s Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) assured the public that the 370 prisoners whom they gave Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) under their watch did not bribe their way out.
BJMP Davao Chief Director Allan Iral made this statement last Saturday, leading up to the 28th anniversary of the BJMP held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.
Iral said the 370 prisoners, who they described as persons deprived with liberty (PDLs), were released last year through the approval of courts and not through influence.
“We in BJMP, we are also allowed to grant the GCTA under the RA 10592,” Iral said. “However, our difference from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is that while we are allowed to issue the GCTA, we are not allowed to release a PDL because we still have to get the approval of the courts.”
The jail director said the BJMP granted GCTA to minor offenses including theft, acts of lasciviousness, unjust vexation, alarm and scandal, among other petty crimes.
Iral said they never practiced the rumored “GCTA for sale” where influential politicians or personalities reportedly bribe police officials to grant them liberty to leave the jail premises. This issue came out after the controversial release of former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez jailed for rape and murder.
He said cases of “PDLs who were charged with heinous crimes, once they are convicted, will be forward to the BuCor where they will serve their sentence.”
He added that they will facilitate the surrender of PDLs charged with heinous crimes who were released but are now ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to surrender after the controversy of the release of Sanchez.
The jail director said that despite the controversies surrounding BuCor over the release of hundreds of PDLs through GCTA, they are willing to cooperate with the new officer-in-charge, BuCor Assistant Secretary and Deputy Director General Melvin Ramon Buenafe as BuCor officer-in-charge, to solve the issues involving GCTA.
“Hopefully, with the new in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections, they will solve the problem,” Iral said. (davaotoday.com)