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BJMP releases 370 prisoners in Davao

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Davao Region has released a total of 370 prisoners who qualified under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) without much controversy.

In time for the 28th Anniversary of the BJMP held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel on Saturday, BJMP Chief Jail Director Allan Iral said the figure covers the 11 city, municipal, and district jails under the BJMP in Davao Region in 2018.

However, he clarified that amid the controversies relative to the granting of GCTA, BJMP could not release persons deprived with liberty (PDLs) if there is no court order.

“We, in BJMP, are also allowed to grant the GCTA under the RA 10592. With the IRR of the law issued in 2014, the Chief BJMP as well as the wardens, which includes the provincial wardens are allowed to grant the GCTA,” Iral said.

“However, our difference from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is that while we are allowed to issue the GCTA, we are not allowed to release a PDL because we still have to get the approval of the courts,” he added.

He added that BJMP has only granted GCTA to minor offenses such as theft, acts of lasciviousness, unjust vexation, alarm and scandal, among other petty crimes.

According to Iral, “PDLs who were charged with heinous crimes, once they are convicted, will be forward to the BuCor where they will serve their sentence.”

Meanwhile, Iral also said his Bureau is clean from the “GCTA for sale” issue.

“In BJMP, we are fortunate to have not received any complaints amid the GCTA for sale. But that is also because what we handle are just petty crimes,” he said.

He also expressed his hopes to the BuCor, which he describes as their partner in work, with its new in-charge, BuCor Assistant Secretary and Deputy Director General Melvin Ramon Buenafe as BuCor officer-in-charge, to solve the issues involving GCTA.

“Hopefully, with the new in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections, they will solve the problem,” Iral said.

Following the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte to those who have committed heinous crimes and was granted GCTA to surrender, Iral said BJMP is welcome to accommodate them. He updated that in Region 6, one GCTA grantee was turned over by the Philippine Navy.

“We will commence the process to have him transferred to the BuCor,” he updated.

“In case anyone surrenders to us, we will document and report it to the police station. Here in Davao, we can have them turned over to the Davao Penal Colony,” he said.

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