The Department of Justice (DOJ) might suspend the processing of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) granted to inmates following the public outrage caused by the reported possible early release of former Caluan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez.
“We’re considering seriously the need to temporarily suspend the processing of GCTA till the BuCor (Bureau of Corrections) guidelines are reviewed and firmed up,” DOJ Sec. Menardo Guevarra said in a text message to reporters.
Guevarra said that BuCor will base its actions on any new guidelines that will come out after the review.
The Justice secretary assured that the suspension will be temporary, and the processing of the GCTAs will be faster because of a more orderly and clearer guidelines.
Guevarra said that convicts have to wait a little longer because of the large number of persons deprived of liberty involved.
“Please note that GCTAs before and after 2013 are being processed. The retroactive effect given to the law suddenly created a deluge of GCTAs for recomputation,” Guevarra added.
Sanchez, who is convicted to seven terms of reclusion perpetua for the rape and murder of student Eileen Sarmenta and the death of her friend Allan Gomez, was reported to be among the more than 10,000 inmates that will see early liberation because of Republic Act 10592.
RA 10592 amended the Revised Penal Code, or Act No. 3815, and increase the GCTAs received by inmates for their good behavior and for each month of study, teaching or mentoring service time that they rendered while imprisoned.
A ruling by the Supreme Court said that convicts imprisoned before the passage of RA 10592 in 2013 should also benefit from its provisions.