To resolve confusion over Good Conduct Time Allowance
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has filed a bill amending the Revised Penal Code (RPC) to include a summary of heinous crimes that would be excluded from coverage of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) under Republic Act No. 10952
Go said the list of heinous crimes would avoid confusion over who among prisoners could benefit from GCTA.
The Davao City Senator filed the bill on September 2 as a storm of public condemnation met the news about the forthcoming release by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez under the GCTA. The furor aborted the release of Sanchez and sparked Congress to conduct an investigation.
The probe focused on RA 10952, which has no listing of heinous crimes that would be excluded from coverage of GCTA and why Sanchez was to be released despite committing the heinous crimes of rape and murder.
The beleaguered star of the investigation is BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon, who ordered the release of Sanchez.
Sanchez is serving seven life sentences (reclusion perpetua) for the murder and rape of University of the Philippines-Los Banos student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez in 1993.
Go’s Senate Bill No. 1003 seeks to amend the RPC, particularly Articles 29, 97, 98 and 99, provisions which were amended and rendered unclear by RA 10592.
“The Filipino people want answers and solutions, not endless debates and more questions,” Go said in his speech on Tuesday, September 3, on the second day of a Senate hearing on the controversy by the Committee on Justice and Human Rights chaired by Senator Dick Gordon.
The proposed bill recognizes that articles in Articles 29, 97, 98 and 99 of the RPC, as amended by RA 10952, gave the notion that prisoners, including recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees, and persons charged with heinous crimes, are entitled to GCTA benefits, according to Go.
In his speech where he elaborated on his proposed bill, Go said SB 1003 would end confusion over the GCTA.