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Elderly inmates appeal for inclusion in GCTA amid processing suspension

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 9/10/2019 Dalangin-Fernandez, Lira
elderly inmates elderly inmates

Some elderly inmates at the New Bilibid Prison issued an appeal to be considered for early release under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law after processing of sentence reduction was suspended due to its allegedly anomalous implementation.

According to a report by Maki Pulido on GMA News TV's Balitanghali, the senior inmates lamented that they are already eligible for release under the GCTA, but would now have to wait because of the controversy.

Jimmy Jamon, who suffers from diabetes and heart disease, still hopes that he would be released after serving 21 years of his sentence.

"Pinagsisihan kong lubos. Sana po mabigyan kami ng tsansa makalaya,” he said.

Pedro Perreras, who suffers from bad vision, asked the same consideration to be freed after serving 29 years of his sentence.

An ongoing investigation at the Senate has revealed the so-called GCTA for sale scheme, which allegedly allowed some of the convicts to be released early after paying Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials.

Over 20 employees and officials of the BuCor have been suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman while being investigated.

Inmate Jesus Santos is set to be freed in October but this will not push through due to the GCTA suspension.  He said it was unfair for regular, helpful and qualified inmates to get inflicted by the anomaly in the BuCor's implementation of the law.

"Nadadamay po mga katulad namin na tumutulong at normal, kami na naghihintay ng paglaya namin tapos biglang kakanselahin. Unfair sa amin,” Santos said.

More than a thousand prisoners, who are staying at the minimum security compound of the NBP, are qualified to be considered for GCTA.

GCTA is based on Republic Act No. 10592, a 2013 law which cuts a prisoner’s sentence for good behavior.

The GCTA issue was raised when it was revealed that convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez could go free due to the law. —Joviland Rita/LDF, GMA News

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