Errors prompt DoJ to stop arresting convicts

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THE Department of Justice (DoJ) has stopped re-arresting convicts illegally released for good conduct after spotting errors in the list of convicts submitted by the Bureau of Corrections, according to DoJ spokesman Markk Perete.

The agency has identified 40 inmates of about 2,000 that should not have been included in the list that should be re-arrested because they have been pardoned or paroled, he told DZMM radio.

The arrests will resume after the list is cleaned up and the names are verified, Mr. Perete said.

The arrests were suspended to ensure “pinpoint accuracy,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles said at a separate live-streamed briefing.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier ordered felons convicted of heinous crimes to surrender or they will be hunted down “dead or alive.”

The convicts should not have been released because they were ineligible under the law.

Police, however, will continue to accept convicts who surrender, deputy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kimberly Molitas said at a separate briefing.

The president has fired his prison chief Nicanor E. Faeldon for allowing their release and ordered the Ombudsman to investigate prison officials for corruption.

The Ombudsman has suspended at least 30 Bureau of Corrections officials allegedly involved in the anomaly.

Mr. Perete said 1,717 of the 1,914 convicts have surrendered. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Marc Wyxzel C. Dela Paz and Charmaine A. Tadalan