SOME inmates of the New Bilibid Prison have asked the Supreme Court to declare as illegal the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10592, or the “Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law,” for being “disadvantageous” to prisoners.
They asked the high court to order the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to recompute with dispatch the time allowances for prisoners and release them upon proof that they have fully served their sentence.
The petitioners were represented by Russel Fuensalida, Toshing Yiu, Benjamin Galvez, Cerilo Obnimage, Urbano Mison, Roland Gamba, Pablo Panaga and Rommel Deang.
Named respondents were Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) chief Allan Sullano Iral.
In particular, the petitioners want to declare as illegal Section 2, second paragraph of Rule IV; Section 2 of Rule V; Section 2 of Rule VII; Section 1, second paragraph of Rule XIII; and Section 1, third paragraph of Rule XIII of the said IRR.
They also asked the court to order the BJMP “to refrain from retroactively applying the provisions that exclude some prisoners.
The petitioners said the revised IRR barred convicts, who committed heinous crimes, recidivists and escapees from the GCTA coverage.
They said the IRR “should be declared invalid for going beyond the law it seeks to implement.”
“Petitioners cannot continue to suffer inside our state penitentiary and extend their service of sentence just because the public views the application of GCTA in favor of those involved in heinous crime as unacceptable. The solution is not to suspend its application by herein respondents, but thru a correlative action from Congress,” they said.
The grant of GCTA became controversial when the BuCor said rape-murder convict Antonio Sanchez, former mayor of Calauan, Laguna, would be among those who would be released under RA 10592.
The Department of Justice suspended the implementation of the GCTA Law and, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, revised the law’s IRR.