The Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) will still accept convicts released through the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law who will voluntarily surrender despite the expiration Friday of the 15-day deadline that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered.
To date, the number of persons deprived of liberty (PDL) that have surrendered for the recomputation of their GCTA in Iwahig is 171, according to corrections technical officer II Levi Evangelista.
Some of the voluntary surrenderees, he said, had traveled all the way from Manila and Iloilo to Palawan to meet the deadline.
“Open pa naman din sa Iwahig though wala na rin dumarating. Pero tingnan lang natin baka ‘yong iba ay nasa biyahe kasi meron din na mga nag-sarili from Manila. Ang iba galing pa ng Iloilo, bumiyahe pa dito,” he said.
Evangelista said the GCTA surrenderee turnout in the ICF has surprised them since they believed only a few will heed.
“Nagulat din kami sa [171 returnees], syempre kung iisipin mo, ayaw na rin nila — kasi magulo pa at gusto nila ma-clarify, ano ba talaga? Release na ba ako?” he said.
He said one of the concerns of the returnees is if their transportation fares will be reimbursed.
Evangelista admitted that the ICF has no answer for this.
There are also around eight policemen augmented to secure the returnees within the prison.
“As long as sumurrender sila, ‘wag na umabot doon sa kami ‘yong maghahanap sa kanila based doon sa announcement. Open pa naman basta mag-surrender lang sila,” he said.
With the expiration of the deadline on September 19, Evangelista said they are already coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) regarding the procedures that should be followed to return those who failed to surrender on time.
He said the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) will comply with the orders of Duterte.
“Yon kasi instruction ni president, makikipag-coordinate din kami according din ‘yan kay superintendent (Geraldo Aro) sa mga law enforcement agencies kung paano ba ito isasagawa at ‘yong addresses nito, may mga surveillance pa kasi na gagawin,” he said.
He said that this will be done in a peaceful way, especially if the PDL has no idea that they are required to surrender themselves back to the prison for the recomputation of GCTA.