Early release of inmates during election period illegal: solon

MANILA Senator Francis Tolentino on Tuesday questioned the validity of the release of convicted Chinese drug lords during the election period as it could be a possible violation of election laws.

During a Senate hearing on the early release of heinous crime convicts, Tolentino pointed out a possible violation of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution 10429 and the Omnibus Election Code with the release of Chinese drug lords Chan Chit Yue, Kin San Ho, Ching Che and Wu Hing Sum in June, as well as foreign prisoner Chen Chang freed on April 8 this year.

The foreign drug lords remain under the Bureau of Immigration (BI) custody.

Tolentino cited Comelec Resolution 10429, which clearly defined the dates March 14 June 12, 2019 as a period which prohibits the illegal release of prisoners.

Alam naman po natin na yung petsang yon eh panahon ng kampanya, panahon po ng eleksyon. Are you aware, is there anybody aware, coming from the side of BuCor (Bureau of Corrections) na meron po tayong Section 261 ng Omnibus Election Code ang title po nun ayillegal release of prisoners? (Those dates refer to the campaign period. Are you aware, is there anybody aware, coming from the side of BuCor that the Omnibus Election Code has a provision pertaining to the illegal release of prisoners under Section 261?), Tolentino said.

BuCor Chief Nicanor Faeldon responded that he was not aware that it was illegal to release prisoners during the election period.

Tolentino then asked the bureau to furnish the Senate a copy of the list of prisoners released during the election ban.

While the law provides that it (the allowance) cannot be revoked, and tingin ko po rito (I think) when the release was granted it was in clear violation, willful violation of existing laws especially election code. Therefore, it is void, Tolentino said.

Tolentino also stressed the need to amend the implementing rules and regulations for Republic Act 10592, or the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law, and for the BuCor and the Board of Pardon and Parole to have separate updated manuals in light of the changes brought about by RA 10592. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency