DOJ summons Colmenares, youth party-list groups over raps filed by PNP-CIDG

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019   •   278

Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has summoned Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, members of youth party-list groups over raps filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

The PNP-CIDG has filed trafficking and child abuse complaints against the said individuals over missing high school student Alicia Lucena.

Complainant Relissa Lucena said her daughter was recruited by Anakbayan.

However, Alicia surfaced on August 14 and has denied claims that she was missing and was kidnapped by Anakbayan. She said she joined Anakbayan voluntarily.

Assistant State Prosecutor Christine Perolino has required Colmenares along with Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago, Anakbayan spokesperson Alex Danday and other members of the youth groups to appear during the preliminary investigation of the DOJ on August 27, September 10 and 24. —AAC

DOJ asks PNP to suspend re-arrest of GCTA-freed heinous crimes convicts

Robie de Guzman   •   September 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested the Philippine National Police (PNP) to temporarily suspend the operation to re-arrest heinous crimes convicts wrongly released under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law after the deadline for them to surrender lapsed.

In a radio interview on Friday, Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said they made the request on Thursday night in order to thoroughly check the list of heinous crime convicts submitted by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Perete noted the list contains some errors which could pose possible violence and other problems such as mistaken identity during the manhunt operation.

Also included in the list were some names of prisoners released under parole and pardon.

At least 1,950 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) surrendered to authorities as of midnight of Thursday when President Rodrigo Duterte’s 15-day deadline ended.

The number of surrenderers is higher than the 1,914 heinous crime convicts on the original list given by BuCor.

Perete said they already ordered BuCor to immediately release the persons who turned themselves in even if they are not included in the list.

The 1,914 heinous criminals were freed earlier because their sentences were shortened for good behavior under the Republic Act 10592.

Duterte earlier ordered these convicts to surrender within 15 days for the recomputation of their good conduct credits or be treated as fugitives from justice after the deadline.

He also offered P1 million bounty for the capture of each freed heinous crime convicts.

DOJ orders warrantless arrest of GCTA-freed PDLs who won’t surrender by Sept 19

Maris Federez   •   September 17, 2019

Two days more to go before the expiration of the deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte for the persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who were freed by virtue of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA).

In the latest Department of Justice (DOJ) data, only around 700 of them have surrendered and are now under the custody of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

This prompted the DOJ to mull over coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in capturing these freed PDLs even without warrants of arrest, should they fail to surrender after the September 19 deadline.

“Each minute, each hour, each day that you refuse to turn yourself in is a continuing commission of an offense and for that reason, law enforcement agencies may arrest you even without a warrant,” DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

The DOJ said they are ready to face anyone who will elevate the matter to the court.

“He may go to court and ask for any relief you wish to obtain from the court, but for now that is how we intend to (do it) and the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) through the PNP (Philippine National Police) is ready to do so after the 19th,” said Guevarra.

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Law Dean Attorney George Erwin Garcia, however, said this is a blatant violation of the Constitution.

Garcia said that based on the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, every individual has the right to due process and can only be detained if there is court-issued warrant of arrest or if he is caught in the act of committing a crime.

Garcia said any convict who wishes to challenge this government’s move may file a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus before the Supreme Court.

The Writ of Habeas Corpus orders an individual or government official who has custody of a person to bring that person to the Court to determine if his detention was legally done.

The latest DOJ data shows that of the 1,914 PDLs freed under the CGTA, 692 have already surrendered and are now under the custody of BuCor. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

DOJ on suspension of 27 BuCor execs: Implement it immediately

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 10, 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the immediate implementation of the suspension against 27 Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) executives over their alleged involvement in the ‘GCTA for sale’ scheme.

READ: Ombudsman suspends BuCor execs over alleged ‘GCTA for sale’ scheme

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed that they have already received the order of the Office of the Ombudsman to suspend the 27 BuCor officials for six months without pay.

“The DOJ, through its oversight committee, will direct the Bucor OIC to serve the notices of preventive suspension and implement it immediately,” he said.

Among the BuCor officials that received the preventive suspension is BuCor Documents Section Division Chief Staff Sergeant Ramoncito Roque.

Roque was accused of receiving P50,000 bribe for an early release of one inmate. Two of Roque’s reported middlemen, Maribel Bancil and Veronica Buño, are also suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The DOJ Secretary has directed BuCor OIC Melvin Buenafe to ensure that BuCor’s operations will not be disrupted by the suspension of 27 of their personnel involved in the GCTA anomaly.—AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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