- About 10,000 inmates would benefit from Republic Act 10592, the law that increased the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) given to prisoners
- The so-called "happy jail" law, passed in 2013, amended key articles of the Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3815).
- Among others, it expanded the application of the good conduct time allowance for prisoners
- It also increased the number of days that may be credited for good-conduct time allowance
- It allowed additional deduction of 15 days for each month of study, teaching, or mentoring service rendered by inmates
- On July 1, 2019, the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that the law may be also applied retroactively
Manila: A "happy jail" law that rewards good conduct of inmates and a recent Supreme Court ruling could give up to 10,000 inmates in Philippine jails an early release, according the Philippines Justice Secretary.
"Over 10,000 inmates" would benefit from Republic Act 10592, or the law that increased the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) given to inmates.
The GCTA provides additional time to be deducted from an inmate’s prison sentence as a reward for his or her good behaviour, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told Philippine media on Tuesday.
On July 1, the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that the number of days credited to prisoners for good conduct, study, teaching, and mentoring services as well as loyalty should be retroactive in its application under the law that became effective on October 10, 2013.
Among the possible beneficiaries of the new law is ex-Mayor of Calauan, Laguna Antonio Sanchez who was convicted rapist and murderer of two University of the Philippines Los Baños students.
“Mayor Sanchez’s good conduct time allowance is being recomputed pursuant to the new law and a recent Supreme Court ruling,” Guevarra was quoted as saying by the Inquirer daily.
1.) It expanded the application of the good conduct time allowance for prisoners even during preventive imprisonment.
2.) It increased the number of days that may be credited for good-conduct time allowance.
3.) It allowed additional deduction of 15 days for each month of study, teaching, or mentoring service.
4.) It expanded the special time allowance for loyalty and made it applicable even during preventive imprisonment.
(Source: Philippine Supreme Court http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/4510/)
Philippine Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the additional GCTA would be “beneficial to all persons under detention.”
“The application of this law is not only prospective but also retroactive — so that benefits all the inmates, including ex-Mayor Sanchez who has been serving for a long time, he will be entitled to the recomputation, so he may walk free soon,” Guevarra said in Filipino.
The Justice secretary and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) are doing the recomputation of the inmates’ GCTA.
“There will be thousands of them. So I guess many will be freed. In our view, within the next two months, thousands of persons under detention would be released,” Guevarra said.
In 1993, ex-mayor Sanchez was meted seven terms of reclusion perpetua (up to 40 years imprisonment) for the rape and murder of University of the Philippines students Eileen Sarmenta and killing of her boyfriend Allan Gomez.