NCRPO tracker teams ready to hunt 176 GCTA-freed convicts

MANILA The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Thursday announced the deployment of tracker teams that would hunt down starting midnight Friday some 176 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who were released through the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).

NCRPO Chief, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said these inmates were among the 202 GCTA-freed PDLs who are residents of Metro Manila.

Of the 202, a total of 24 convicts have already surrendered to authorities while two had already passed away.

There are still 176 freed PDLs in Metro Manila whose city addresses are within 28 of 38 police stations in the NCR, he told reporters in a press briefing at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

Eleazar said each of the 28 police stations would form a team consisting of four personnel to track down the PDLs released under the GCTA.

All of our tracker teams will start their manhunt at 12 o'clock (midnight). They are distributed in the 28 police stations. Within six hours, from 12 o'clock (midnight) to 6 o' clock (in the morning), our tracker teams will proceed to all 176 addresses on the list, he said.

We want to get them alive but if there is aggressive behavior on their part and they resist, we have to defend ourselves, he added.

Eleazar called on the PDLs to turn themselves in before the lapse of the 15-day deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte for them to surrender.

The police precincts, police stations and our offices here at NCRPO are open 24 hours, and we shall be ready to arrange for (the PDLs') turnover to the proper authorities," he said.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said they were waiting for the updated list of prisoners, who were freed due to the GCTA, which will be provided by the Department of Justice.

The manhunt will be done with or without a reward, though a reward may be helpful to entice possible informants against convicts who will fail to surrender, Banac said in a statement sent to reporters.

But the PNP will exert all efforts to arrest them through our tracker teams led by CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) following the prescribed procedures and with utmost respect for human rights, he added.

Banac said that as of 6 a.m. on Thursday, 579 GCTA-freed convicts have surrendered to the police, 349 of whom were already turned over to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

We believe that through swift and relentless arrests, we can convince and expedite the surrender of more freed convicts. That's why we continue to urge them to surrender and turn themselves in even while being tracked down after the deadline. All police units nationwide will remain open to assist them in getting back to the BuCor, he said.

A total of 1,914 convicts were released through the GCTA since 2014. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency