By NITZ ARANCON
FOURTEEN more convicted criminals who were released because of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law surrendered in Region 10 since Tuesday last week but the police opted to withhold their names because of “legal issues.”
Lt. Col. Mardy Hortillosa said the new surrenderers turned themselves in one by one from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13.
Police said the new surrenderers, except for three, were convicted for heinous crimes, and all of them were released from the Davao Prison and Penal Farm in Davao del Norte.
The new batch of surrenderers raised to 22 the number of convicts, freed on the basis of the GCTA law, who handed themselves over to authorities in the region this month after President Duterte warned that the government would go after them unless they did.
But unlike the first batch of surrenderers, Hortillosa declined to give names.
“Na-a nay atong mga pangalan niining 14 ka mga sureenderee pero dili pa nako mahatag ang ilang mga pangalan kay duna pay mga legal issues niini nga dapat pang i-resolve,” Hortillosa said.
Last week, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of the city’s 2nd District warned that the police against treating those freed because of the GCTA law like fugitives, saying none of them could be arrested without warrants from a court.
Rodriguez, who co-authored the law, also said the freed convicts should not even surrender because they are not fugitives, pointing out that their release orders were approved by the Bureau of Corrections (Bucor).
He said it was the Bucor that abused and incorrectly interpreted the GCTA law even as he lashed out at the Bureau for its “secrecy” in connection with the release of prisoners.