Duterte’s surrender order for heinous crime convicts remains: Palace

MANILA – The 15-day deadline given to some 2,000 freed heinous crime convicts for them to voluntarily surrender will stay as only 400 of them have so far responded to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order, Malacañang said on Monday.

“The fact is that there are 400 of them coming in; it could be that the others may have not known of the deadline. But just the same, the order of the President remains,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo said if the heinous crime convicts, who were improperly released under the law of good conduct time allowance (GCTA), failed to meet the Sept. 19 deadline, they will be considered fugitives.

“As the President said when the deadline lapses, then they will be deemed to be fugitives from justice and they can be arrested,” he said.

The Bureau of Corrections is an agency of the Department of Justice which is in charge of the custody and rehabilitation of national offenders, who have been sentenced to three years of imprisonment or more. (File Photo)

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac announced that the number of convicts who surrendered has reached 435 as of Monday morning.

Banac said 253 of them have been turned over to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) while the rest are still “undergoing process”.

The Mimaropa (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) has the most number of convicts who surrendered with 72, followed by Central Visayas with 45 while the National Capital Region has 41.

Of the 435 figure, 140 were convicted of murder, 130 of rape, 42 of robbery with homicide, 29 of homicide, 19 of illegal drug-related crimes and 14 each for murder and frustrated murder and rape with homicide.

Banac earlier said that several convicts have already surrendered directly to the Bucor and the PNP is not privy of the number.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) is set to deploy on Thursday 121 tracker teams nationwide to lead the hunting down of those who did not surrender.

CIDG Deputy Director, Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba, said each tracker team, composed of five personnel, will be deployed after the 15-day deadline.

Balba said they have a copy of the list of released convicts with their addresses. (PNA)

By Jelly Musico and Christopher Lloyd Caliwan