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Can convicts freed under GCTA law be returned to jail? Lacson: Only SC has final say

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Only the Supreme Court can decide whether it is legal for the government to send back to prison the convicts who have been freed under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Saturday (August 31).

Lacson made the remark as he expressed support for Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s statement that convicts who were released under Republic Act 10592 should return behind bars to continue serving their sentence.

“Mag-a-agree ako sa kanya sa kanyang panawagan. Pero kung tama yan o mali, subject to interpretation yan kung sakaling dumulog sa SC ang presong nakalaya na ibabalik pa. Ang mag-interpret lang noon SC,” he said in an interview over dwIZ radio.

Lacson said only the Supreme Court can interpret how RA 10592 should be applied since there are conflicting opinions on the law.

“Hindi para si Secretary Panelo o sinuman mag-interpret kundi kung sakaling umabot sa SC ang usapin, sila ang magsasabi kung dapat ibalik o di dapat ibalik [ang bilanggo],” he said.

Based on data from the Bureau of Corrections, close to 2,000 inmates have been freed under GCTA law since its effectivity in 2013.

The law has come under scrutiny over its supposed abuse by notorious criminals such as Chinese drug lords and those convicted of heinou crimes to secure an early release.

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