THE Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday said it finalized the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Good Conduct and Time Allowance (GCTA) law and expressed its intention to exert more control over the Bureau of Customs (BuCor).

In a message to reporters on Friday, Justice undersecretary Markk L. Perete said its review committee, in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), finished revising the IRR of the GCTA Law. The revisions began after the public outcry against the alleged plan to release former Calauan Mayor Antonio L. Sanchez, a convicted murderer and rapist, last month.

“The Joint Review Committee has completed its work and submitted the draft IRR to the Secretaries of Justice and of the Interior and Local Government. Both will now review the draft IRR and decide on its promulgation,” he said.

More than 22,000 inmates have been released since 2014 under the GCTA law.

On the other hand, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said that there is a need to review Republic Act 10575, which establishes the powers of the BuCor (an attached agency of the DoJ).

“I am beginning to think that the law itself that supposedly strengthened the BuCor (and consequently diminished DOJ control over it) may have to be reviewed,” he said.

The DoJ said that it will continue its efforts to reform the BuCor under the limitations of the current law; this includes creating an oversight committee.

“DoJ can only exercise administrative supervision over the BuCor instead of control,” said Mr. Perete about RA 10575. — Gillian M. Cortez