By Noreen Jazul
Former senator and now Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero said it would be “unfair” to blame Senator Leila de Lima for the flaws in the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
“It is not only her that issued the IRR (implementing rules and regulation), it was in conjunction with other stakeholders at that time,” Escudero told ANC when asked if it was right to insinuate that GCTA mess was de Lima’s fault.
“If I remember correctly, they consulted members of the Senate and probably even the house at the time and the TWG (Technical Working Group) of the Senate,” he added.
Meanwhile, Escudero said that de Lima, during her term as Secretary of Justice, wanted the “new computation of the of CGTA law ranging from 20-30 days per month” to “only be computed in favor of convicts after 2013.”
“Then the Supreme Court said that those before can benefit from it too,” Escudero added.
When asked whether the new IRR, crafted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), saying that heinous crime convicts after 2013 can no longer avail of GCTA is legal or not considering SC’s earlier affirmation, Escudero said:
“There’s a distinction. Only those convicted of heinous crimes according to DOJ and DILG. They made that distinction. As a legislator, more so as a governor, I cannot say what’s legal and what’s not, that’s totally up to the Supreme Court.”
“I guess the IRR will be questioned at some point in time of someone by any of the accused that would be affected by this and the Supreme Court will have occasion to decide on that,” he said.
Earlier, de Lima, alongside Mar Roxas, was asked by the Ombudsman Samuel Martires to explain why the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10592 crafted during their term included the persons not qualified for release on account of good conduct. (With a report from Czarina Ong Ki)