‘Pag sinuswerte nga naman: convicts who testified vs. De Lima set for release

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Apart from former Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez, the 13 convicts who testified in detained Sen. Leila de Lima’s illegal drugs charges maybe likewise released from prison soon.

” Everyone imprisoned by final judgment before 2013 is entitled to a recomputation of GCTAs earned (good conduct time allowance) , if any. If the subjects 13 convicts qualify for reduced sentence due to GCTA and they have actually served it, they too will be released,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

These 13 convicts who testified against de Lima during the House of Representatives justice committee’s probe into the alleged illegal drugs trade at the New Bilibid Prison are:

1.Nonilo Arile, convicted for murder and kidnapping

2.Jojo Baligad, convicted for murder

3.Herbert Colanggo, convicted for robbery with homicide

4.Engelberto Durano, convicted for frustrated murder and murder

5.Rodolfo Magleo, convicted for kidnapping for ransom

6.Vicente Sy, convicted for illegal sale and delivery of methamphetaminehydrochloride (shabu)

7.Hans Tan, convicted for robbery and direct assault with murder

8.Froilan Trestiza, convicted for kidnapping

9.Peter Co, convicted for illegal sale and delivery of methamphetaminehydrochloride (shabu)

10.Noel Martinez, convicted for kidnapping for ransom

11.Joel Capones, convicted for homicide

12.German Agojo, convicted for illegal sale and delivery ofmethamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu)

13.Jaime Patcho, convicted for kidnapping for ransom.

Sanchez gained notoriety for the 1993 rape and murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.

Sanchez was convicted on March 11, 1995 by Judge Harriet Demetriou, who said that the rape and murder of Sarmenta and Gomez were “a plot seemingly hatched in hell.”

Earlier, Guevarra disclosed that Sanchez and other prisoners maybe released from prison because of a 2013 law increasing GCTA and a Supreme Court decision in June applying the law retroactively.

Guevarra was referring to a June 25, 2019 ruling of the SC that declared invalid Section 4, Rule 1 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10592 in so far as the said IRR provided for the prospective application of the grant of time allowance of prisoners for: i.) good conduct, ii.) study, teaching, and mentoring service, and iii.) loyalty.

As a consequence, all prisoners regardless of whether already serving his/her sentence or undergoing preventive imprisonment may qualify for the reduction of their sentence pursuant to the time allowances under R.A. 10592.

“NBP (New Bilibid Prison) records on good conduct of PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) had been in existence before the SC issued its ruling on retroactivity of GCTAs last June. The matter of computation of GCTAs is therefore purely ministerial,” he explained.

In its June ruling, the SC has declared that the number of days credited to prisoners for their good conduct; study, teaching, and mentoring service; and loyalty should be retroactive in application under the law that became effective on Oct. 10, 2013.

The unanimous full court decision written by Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta stated that the increased time allowances given to qualified prisoners would bring about a substantial reduction in their penalties “which eventually will result in the decongestion of the jail system in the country.”

RA 10592 amended several provisions in the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and authorized the credit of preventive imprisonment and revision of good conduct time allowance of persons deprived of liberty.

The law expanded the application of GCTA for prisoners even during preventive suspension, increased the number of days for GCTA, allowed additional deduction of 15 days each month for time allowance for study, teaching or mentoring service (TASTM), and expanded the special time allowance for loyalty (STAL) even during preventive suspension.

However, the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior and Local Government in 2014 mandated the prospective application of the provisions in the law.

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