By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) vowed to uphold the human rights of the freed convicts when it starts the massive crackdown against those who would not heed President Duterte’s appeal for them to surrender.
The 15-day deadline given to those freed under the anomalous implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law is set to lapse on Thursday, September 19.
“The PNP will exert all efforts to arrest them through our tracker teams following the prescribed procedures and with utmost respect for human rights,” said PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
Some sectors are anticipating a bloody manhunt against those who would not surrender.
But for Banac, the best option for the GCTA-freed convicts is still to surrender.
A total of 523 convicts have already surrendered to the police across the country, 321 of them were already turned over to the Bureau of Corrections.
Almost 2,000 convicts, majority of them are facing heinous crime like rape and murder, were freed in the past months due to the alleged discrepancy in the implementation of the GCTA Law.
“That’s why we continue to urge them to surrender and turn themselves in even while being tracked down after the deadline,” said Banac.
In fact, he said all police units nationwide will remain open to assist those who would still surrender.
“We believe that through swift arrests, we can expedite the surrender of other freed convicts,” said Banac.
Earlier, President Duterte was quoted offering P1 million reward for every convict who would not surrender.
“With or without reward, the PNP shifts to manhunt operations after the deadline on Thursday, although the reward may be helpful to entice possible informants against convicts who will fail to surrender,” said Banac.