Some 46 Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) surrenderees on Friday afternoon “escaped” from the Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) as they grew “tired of waiting” for the official release papers from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

ICF spokesperson and corrections technical officer Levi Evangelista, in an interview with Palawan News on Sunday evening, said they tried to pacify and stop the returnees from going out of the holding area where they were being detained, but they were eager to leave.

Out of the total, nine have already returned after escaping on November 9.

“Dumating na sila sa puntong hindi na nila matiis ‘yong tagal ng proseso. Iniisip na nila ‘yong mga pamilya nila, ‘yong mga trabaho nila,” Evangelista said.

Evangelista pointed out that the corrections officers were aware of the escalating situation in the holding area. However, he explained that they were unable to do anything about it because the returnees were technically “free men”.

“Hindi naman namin sila puwedeng barilin kasi mga laya naman na itong mga ito at bumalik lang dahil ipinatawag sila. Pinakiusapan naman sila ng maayos pero desidido silang umalis na,” he said.

A report was filed about the “escaped” returnees and was sent to the oversight committee of the DOJ.

As of press time, Evangelista said that they are still waiting for further instructions from the national headquarters before they take on further steps.

“Hindi naman puwedeng arestuhin sila ulit kasi wala namang order pa. Nanghihinayang lang kami na karamihan sa kanila dapat makakalaya na papel na lang ang hinihintay. Sa ngayon, hinihintay pa namin kung ano ang sasabihin ng DOJ,” Evangelista said.

Evangelista took it to media requesting for the returnees to return once again so their proper discharge could be administered.

“Naiintindihan natin sila pero bumalik sana sila para maayos ‘yong paglaya nila at talagang may finality,” he said.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.