THE REVISED implementing rules on the early release of convicts for good conduct take effect today, Oct. 4.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law will take effect even though there is a pending petition before the Supreme Court questioning it.

“Yes (it will take effect). The petitioners did not ask for a restraining order, much less would the Supreme Court consider it at all,” he said in a cellphone message.

The Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior and Local Government revised the rules for GCTA, disqualifying recidivists, escapees, habitual delinquents, and convicts of heinous crimes.

This came following reports that former Calauan mayor Antonio L. Sanchez, who was convicted of rape and murder in 1995 for the killing of two University of the Philippines students in 1993, was about to be released early for good conduct.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte then ordered the surrender of 1,914 convicts of heinous crimes who had been released through GCTA. He also dismissed prison chief Nicanor E. Faeldon due to the controversy.

Eight convicts at the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City asked the Supreme Court to void some provisions of the IRR, particularly the rules on the disqualification of recidivists, escapees, habitual delinquents, and convicts of heinous crimes.

They also asked the court to order prison officials to refrain from applying retroactively the exclusions and to recompute their time credits. Exclusion from credit for preventive imprisonment should not be applied retroactively as well, petitioners claimed.

Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin said the court had given the Office of the Solicitor General, the state counsel, 10 days to comment on the petition. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas