President Rodrigo Duterte should issue shoot-to-kill orders for the three men who raped and killed Jaqueline and Marijoy Chiong after they were released early on good behavior, the mother of the two sisters said Thursday.
In an interview with GMA News, Thelma Chiong questioned the need for a 15-day grace period during which more than 1,900 released convicts—including the three men who raped and killed her daughters—could surrender to the authorities.
The Chiong convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment for the abduction, rape, and killing of the two sisters.
The three convicts in the Chiong rape and murder case were Josman Aznar, Ariel Balansag and Alberto Caño, all freed by virtue of Republic Act 10592. Three other convicts in the case died in prison, while a seventh is serving time in a Spanish jail.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said heinous crimes convicts who had been freed on account of the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law may be rearrested even without a warrant if they fail to surrender in 15 days.
He also said fewer than 10 convicts previously released on the basis of the GCTA Law have already surrendered, heeding President Duterte’s ultimatum.
“I have just been informed a few minutes ago, confidentially, but we cannot mention their names,” Guevarra said, during the resumption of the Senate inquiry into the GCTA controversy.
If these prisoners would not surrender and be considered fugitives, they are “evading” their sentence, the Justice chief said.
“They may be classified as evading sentence if they’re declared fugitive after the 15-day period. That’s a continuing offense until they turn themselves in. So that provides an avenue for warrantless arrest,” he added.
The surrender came after Duterte ordered on Wednesday night the rearrest of the 1,914 convicts released through the GCTA Law or Republic Act 10592.
“Not more than 10,” Guevarra admitted.
Malacañang said it may raise P1-million bounty for each of the heinous crimes convicts if they do not turn themselves in three days.
The GCTA Law became controversial after it was revealed that among its supposed beneficiaries is convicted rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez.
This prompted the Department of Justice to suspend the processing of GCTA pending review of the new GCTA Law’s implementing rules and regulation.
Senator Panfilo Lacson grilled prison officials on the apparent rush to sign the memorandum for release of the convicts in the rape-slay of Chiong sisters and 40 others.
At Thursday’s hearing, Technical Chief Supt. Maria Fe Marquez said she signed the memorandum on Aug. 16 because Faeldon was in Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Mindoro Oriental.
“What was the rush? Couldn’t you wait for Faeldon to get back?” Lacson asked in Filipino. “It wasn’t as if he was out of the country. He was just hours away from Muntinlupa.”
Marquez said she signed the memorandum immediately because she believes release orders should be acted on promptly or she would be charged with arbitrary detention.
Lacson dismissed this notion, however, saying the subjects were already convicted and there was no court order calling for their release.
Marquez said usually the subjects of the memorandum seek immediate action on their release. She added some people even go to their houses to urge them to sign the papers, a revelation that Lacson found surprising.
Marquez admitted there was no court order calling for the release of the Chiong convicts, but said their lawyers were “demanding” their release.