DOJ : ‘Not more than 10’ freed convicts surrendered after Duterte order

Robie de Guzman   •   September 5, 2019   •   825

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said that not more than 10 convicts freed for good behavior have surrendered to authorities after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a 15-day deadline for them Wednesday night.

Guevarra revealed this during the resumption of the Senate committee on justice’s inquiry on Thursday into the questionable application of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law and early release of heinous crimes convicts.

“I have just been informed a few minutes ago, confidentially meron, but we cannot mention their names,” Guevarra said in response to the query of Senator Panfilo Lacson.

“Not more than 10,” he added.

Lacson called this “a good indication” and “a good development.”

The surrender of freed convicts came after Duterte on Wednesday night ordered the re-arrest of the 1,914 prisoners released under the GCTA law.

The president urged them to show themselves and submit for investigation to recompute their good conduct credits within 15 days.  

“All of you, released under GCTA, you surrender or have yourself registered under BuCor (Bureau of Corrections),” Duterte said.

READ: Duterte orders freed convicts to surrender

If they fail to show up within the deadline, they will be treated as fugitives from justice and will face re-arrest.

Justice Secretary Guevarra also said they are planning to put the freed heinous crimes convicts on the immigration lookout.

“We got the list of those persons deprived of liberty who were convicted of heinous crimes but were prematurely released on account of good conduct time allowance and we have forwarded it to the Bureau of Immigration for appropriate action, more particularly for the issuance of the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO),” Guevarra said.

An ILBO cannot stop subjects from leaving the country but will only set up a mechanism to alert the government when these people attempt to leave the country.

DOJ completes guidelines on the arrest of health protocol violators

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has completed the guidelines in arresting violators of health and safety protocols.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the department is ready to present the guidelines to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). He added that they will be coordinating with the DILG in a few days.

“The guidelines will not add anything to the substantive aspect. Only as to the procedure on arrest and detention until the filing of charges, if warranted,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has previously ordered the DOJ to draft guidelines to avoid any complications concerning the arrest.

This will also prevent overcrowding in detention centers.  Health and safety protocols will still be followed to avert the spread of the virus in detention centers.

“Fully aware of the complications that may arise from effecting arrests of persons not wearing face masks were required (such as the problem of congested jails or detention centers),” he added. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

DOJ, DILG crafting guidelines for Duterte order to detain people improperly wearing face masks

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are crafting guidelines for the latest order of President Rodrigo Duterte to detain those who are improperly wearing face masks in public, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Thursday.

In a message to reporters, Guevarra said the guidelines will include details on the booking and detention processes, as well as the investigation and the filing of charges against those who will be apprehended.

The DOJ chief, however, stressed that Duterte’s order takes effect immediately even if the guidelines are still being formulated.

“The President’s directive takes effect immediately even without the guidelines. Existing laws and ordinances define the prohibited acts and impose the corresponding penalties therefore, and the relevant rules of court govern the procedure,” Guevarra said.

He also advised the public to wear face masks properly and to follow the law to avoid being detained.

“The best way to avoid being arrested while the guidelines are being formulated is to wear a face mask and obey the law,” he said.

On Wednesday, Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police to impose a stricter mask mandate to stem the spread of COVID-19 that mostly affected urban centers.

De Lima now in stable condition, discharged from hospital

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila M. de Lima is now in stable condition and has been discharged from the hospital, according to her personal physicians.

In a statement, Dr. Dante Morales and Dr. Errol Rhett Santelices said the result of De Lima’s tests showed no evidence of stroke.

“The medical team who attended her case said De Lima experienced episodes of migraine headaches triggered by the hot environment, poor ventilation, and noise. This was associated with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and reactive hypertension,” the statement reads.

Her personal physicians have recommended increasing ventilation in her detention quarters which is poorly ventilated and absorbs the summer heat.

It was also recommended that the senator undergo more tests should the symptoms recur.

The medical team also stressed that De Lima’s blood pressure and sugar level be regularly monitored. She was also advised to avoid stress.

De Lima was confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital for three days, from April 24-27, to undergo a medical examination.

De Lima thanked everyone who showed support, sent messages, and offered prayers for her recovery. AAC

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