Press Release
August 23, 2019

Nancy to BuCor: 'Your costly math mistakes can perpetuate wholesale injustice'
...says lack of scrutiny can be ticket to a hardened criminal's freedom

Sen. Nancy Binay today called on the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to be more meticulous and thorough in computing Good Conduct Time Allowances (GCTA) to avoid reckless errors.

According to Binay, there is a need to fully review the procedures in granting GCTAs to prisoners since the operations manual being used by BuCor, BJMP and provincial jails may have been wrongly interpreted or implemented.

"Ayusin naman sana yung pagbibilang. A simple math mistake can directly perpetuate wholesale injustice. Kaya, wag natin itong tingnan lamang sa simpleng credit o deduction dahil sa 'good behavior'. Malaki ang implikasyon ng bawat araw at numero sa computation--an error can be a criminal's ticket to freedom," the senator pointed out.

In the rules on serving successive sentences under Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code, the period of reclusion perpetua is set to a maximum of 40 years.

"In the light of the Mayor Sanchez case, baka kailangan bigyang pansin ang ibang mga kaso na nabigyan ng CPIs at good conduct time allowances. Isang concern yung walang malinaw na key performance indicators, not to mention na napaka-subjective 'pag sinabing good behaviour," Binay said.

In RA 10592, Credits for Preventive Imprisonment (CPI) and GCTA would commute the term of imprisonment of convicts. And once these allowances are granted, they cannot be revoked.

Families of victims of heinious crimes are yet to see that justice is fully served and Binay noted the colatilla for "heinous crimes" disqualification only refers to CPIs, not to GCTAs.

"It's hard to imagine hardened criminals walk free without fully serving their life sentences just because of a clerical lapse, at dahil nga may good conduct, pwede na silang lumaya nang mas maaga without the families of victims being informed," she noted.

Binay said the law should have a provision to have candidates or applicants for clemency be published in newspapers or online in order for the public and the families of victims to be informed of the convicts' status.

"We need to have clear definition of terminologies and measurable indices para may legal and material basis. At kailangan din may lista ng certain crimes na qualified for clemency o sa GCTA. Kung double- or triple-life, dapat automatic na disqualified," she explained.

RA 10592 increases GCTAs but does not define "good behavior" as applied to extremely serious crimes, and is therefore open to many interpretations.

"Yung pagbibigay ng clemency, lalo na kung undeserving, will only amplify the horror, the pain, and the injustice. Yung mga halang na kriminal, no amount of good behaviour can erase the bestiality of whatever they did to their victims. Yung pagbibigay ng clemency ng walang materyal na batayan ay isang panunuya sa mga pamilya ng biktima at hustisya," Binay stressed.

She added: "Ang nakakalungkot, hindi garantiya na yung good conduct ay ibig sabihin di na threat sa lipunan ang isang convict," noting that a prisoner's fitness for parole or any form of executive clemency is prone to flaws.

"The law does not provide for circumstances that would disqualify a convict--who has several life sentences--from being eligible. Ang nakakatakot, once na na-compute na at na-approve ang good conduct allowances, wala nang bawian ito," the senator pointed out.

Binay said RA 10592 should be amended in such a way that GCTA would apply to extraordinary heinous crimes like massacres, and multiple rapes, particularly of children.

"Our daughters and sons will never be safe if the law becomes lenient to hardened criminals like rapists and murderers. The crimes they've committed are indivisible, unforgivable and beyond any sensible man's latitude.

"What is necessary is for the State to have a functioning oversight that would check not only the math, but for penal bureaus to come up with a holistic evaluation procedure that is independent, fair, thorough, and impeccable," Binay stressed.

News Latest News Feed