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Guevarra hopes SC will uphold legality of GCTA Law’s revised IRR

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday (Oct. 4) believes the Supreme Court (SC) will back the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.

The Supreme Court (SC) has already both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to comment on the petition filed by New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates challenging the new IRR.

“The DOJ, as well as the DILG, is happy to be given the opportunity to comment on the petition,” he said.

“We are confident that the Supreme Court will sustain our reading of the GCTA law, as reflected in the revised IRR that takes effect today,” he added.

The petition questioned the revised IRR of Republic Act 10592, the law that was passed in 2013 and amended provisions of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) to grant more GCTAs to inmates to allow their much earlier release.

The DOJ and DILG made the revised IRR to make clear that recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and heinous crimes convicts are excluded from benefiting from RA 10592, among others.

However, the petitioners have asked the SC to declare as invalid several provisions of the and regulations IRR including the exclusion of recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees and heinous crimes convicts from its benefits.

In their petition, their lawyers explained “it becomes clear that the deprivation of application of the greater GCTA and consequent prolongation of imprisonment of herein petitioners and those similarly situated constitute violation of their substantive rights.”

“Absent any showing that they are not eligible for GCTA, they have to be made beneficiaries of the same, regardless of the nature of the crime they were convicted of,” read the petition.

“They must be accordingly released by the DOJ (Department of Justice) and BUCOR (Bureau of Corrections) regardless of whether the same will cause public outrage,” it added.

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