Nine out of 46 “escaped” Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) returnees are back in Iwahig Corrections Facility’s (ICF) custody after a massive walkout reported on Friday.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Oversight Committee, the direct authority that holds the evaluation of the GCTA returnees, has yet to issue an order regarding the highest GCTA-related walkout recorded within the seven prison institutions in the Philippines.
ICF information officer Levi Evangelista on Monday said that they are attending to the returnees’ necessities but their official release is “out of their hands” stressing out that all reports were submitted to the national headquarters of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
“We do not have an idea yet on what will be the effect of the escape activities on their final releases. Wala naman dapat sisihin, it just take time lang talaga. Yong mga umalis ay baka hindi lang talaga nakatiis lalo na kapag pinag-uusapan ang kanilang mga pamilya. Naghihintay pa kami ng order pero as of now, wala pa namang sinasabi kaya kami naghihintay lang,” Evangelista said.
Following the recent escape report, Evangelista said that the ICF management ordered the transfer of the other 33 GCTA-returnees from the holding custody to Inagawan sub-colony in order to be near their families. The other 33 are those who remained and did not join the prison break on Friday.
“Agad naman natin tinugon yong kanilang kahilingan na doon na lang magpa-custody sa Inagawan. Sabi nga nila, gusto pa rin naming makalaya na maayos, malinis ang aming pangalan,” he said.
ICF can only remain hopeful that the remaining 37 GCTA-freed ex-convicts will return once again after some 46 returnees grew “tired of waiting” for their discharge papers.
“Naghihintay lang kami ng tawag, actually sa akin kanina meron din tumawag, nasa isang area pa raw sila. Still awaiting lang kami sa information na babalik sila,” he said.
Evangelista said that some of the escapees have expressed their interest to return to ICF.
“Panawagan namin na bumalik na sila agad para di maging worst pa yong kahihitnan nito, bumalik na lang sila at hintayin yong final release para hindi makaapekto. In order not to be arrested again,” he said.
ICF has a total of 183 GCTA returnees following the president’s directive to “surrender” issued on September.