Around 12 inmates were freed from the Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) on Friday after earning enough Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) credits for demonstrating proper behavior.
Their release on November 26 happened two years after the GCTA computation was suspended due to the revision of Republic Act 10592.
According to CTO II Levi Evangelista, information officer, the ICF released the 12 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who are all from Palawan. They are part of the initial batch of 55 PDLs that were deliberated on September 2.
The ICF has already deliberated on 327 PDLs from September through October, and a further 200 in November, for a total of 527.
“Ang MSEC team naman ay tuloy-tuloy ang deliberation. Masipag si super magpa-deliberate, nagkaroon lang ng delay sa NHQ (national headquarters) depende kasi sa kaso ng detainees—hopefully start pa lang naman ito. Nagkaroon tayo ng initial 12, mababa ang figures pero still, it’s a good sign. It brings morale doon sa ating PDLs,” he said.
“Naging madamdamin noong Friday because we know ‘yong paghihirap ng mga tao, ito talaga ‘yong inaantay nila—maximum served sentence pinagkaloob na kalayaan sa kanila after computation meaning na-shorten,” Evangelista added.
Concerns that rape-slay guilty former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez and others convicted of terrible crimes would be freed owing to their GCTAs spurred the change of the implementing rules and regulations of RA 10592, or the GCTA legislation, in 2019.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) completed the 2019 revised manual in late 2020.
Evangelista said that under the new IRR, a PDL, for example, who began serving his sentence for an initial one to two years may have his sentence reduced by 20 days under GCTA.
The penal administration anticipates that the national headquarters will allow the release of another batch of PDL names before the end of the year.
“Mas napaganda dito sa revised GCTA law, mas lumaki ang number of days,” he said, claiming the revised law will assist in decongesting prison camps.
“Mas makakapagpaluwag ito at ang mas maganda rito ay ang pag-asa, panibagong tao na uli sila. Nakakataas ng kanilang moral, inaasahan din kasi nila ng kanilang pamilya lalo na most of them ay padre de pamilia,” he added.
The ICF provided transportation fares to the released individuals in going back to their different towns, he added.