DoJ says 76 ineligible convicts have yielded

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SEVENTY-SIX of about 2,000 convicts who got illegally released for good conduct have surrendered, the Department of Justice said yesterday.

Among those who surrendered were two of the three released convicts involved in the rape-slay case of the Chiong sisters in Cebu, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said. The third convict is expected to yield this week.

On Saturday alone, 28 convicts arrived at the Bureau of Corrections facility accompanied by police officers from Region 2, Justice Undersecretary (DoJ) on Sunday reported a total of 76 prematurely released persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) have surrendered to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

“As of 12 midnight, a total of 76 surrenderees are in the custody of BuCor. BuCor continues to receive reports from PNP (Philippine National Police) Regional Offices of more surrenderees,” Justice Undersecretary Markk L. Perete told reporters via teleconference. No convict who was illegal released has left the country, he added.

Members of a DoJ oversight committee met with BuCor officials on Sunday to discuss how to coordinate in the release of convicts for good conducts.

The Senate is investigating parole processes at the country’s prisons. The convicts were not supposed to be freed because they committed heinous crimes.

Former Calauan Mayor Antonio L. Sanchez was almost released if not for the outcry from the public and the family of his victims. The ex-politician was sentenced to seven life terms in 1995 for the rape and murder of two University of the Philippines students in 1993.

The Senate probe also uncovered that three of the seven convicts involved in the rape-slay case of the Chiong sisters had been freed. — Charmaine A. Tadalan