Palace lauds IRR revision of GCTA law

MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday welcomed the revision of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10592 or the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

"We hope that the revisions and corrections made in the instrument would address the inaccuracies, as well as the loopholes of its earlier version which generated confusion among the officials in implementing the law, and the corresponding backlash of the public against them," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

The official explained that the previous version of the IRR, issued by Senator Leila de Lima and former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, did not exclude persons "charged or convicted with heinous crimes" from availing of sentence deduction under the said law.

Under the 2019 revised IRR of GCTA law, it is now "very clear and categorical" that those persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) convicted of or charged with heinous crimes shall not be entitled to the said benefits, he noted.

The revised IRR likewise adopts the definition of heinous crimes under the provisions of RA 7659, or the Death Penalty Law, and those crimes specifically declared as such by the Supreme Court.

"This leaves the enforcers of the law with no room for confusion," said Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.

In line with the Duterte administration's commitment for transparency, Panelo said the Management Screening and Evaluation Committees are now mandated to invite representatives from the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA) and the National Prosecution Service (NPS) of the Department of Justice, and even from accredited civil society organizations, to appear as observers during their deliberations when recommending the grant of GCTA benefits.

The Management Screening and Evaluation Committees are the ones tasked to assess, evaluate, and recommend to the Director General of the Bureau of Corrections and the Chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology the grant of GCTA benefits to qualified PDLs.

"We exhort the officials of the BuCor to study the new IRR and transmit the correct and up-to-date information to their staff for their proper guidance," Panelo said.

Signed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and DILG Secretary Eduardo AAo on Monday (Sept. 16), the revised IRR excludes recidivists, escapees, habitual delinquents, and convicts of heinous crimes from being eligible for the GCTA.

The IRR also defined heinous crimes based on jurisprudence and as enumerated in RA 7659, which imposed the death penalty on certain heinous crimes such as murder, rape, destructive arson, parricide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and drug-related offenses. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency