Immigration told to monitor convicts: Lookout order out
CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Justice has issued a lookout bulletin for all the heinous crimes convicts, including three of the seven men convicted in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong in Cebu in 1997 that were prematurely released amid the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said that he already directed the Bureau of Immigration to lookout for them.
“We got the list of those Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) who were convicted of heinous crimes but were prematurely released on account of Good Conduct Time Allowance and we have forwarded it to the Bureau of Immigration for appropriate action, more particularly for the issuance of the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO),” Guevarra said during the resumption of Senate hearing into GCTA law.
Records of the Bureau of Corrections showed that there have been more than 22,000 persons deprived of liberty whose GCTA were granted and whose sentences were reduced. Of these, 1,914 inmates were imprisoned for heinous crime.
The DOJ’s order came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered heinous crimes convicts who got freed during the implementation of GCTA to surrender and register themselves in the BuCor in 15 days or they will be treated fugitives.
Duterte directed the BuCor to recompute the GCTA of these convicts and have them investigated for corruption. He also ordered the airport authorities not to let the convicts go.
The lookout bulletin, however, does not prevent these convicts from flying overseas. It only monitors their attempts to leave the country.
A court-issued hold departure order, the sole order which prevents the subjects’ flight, is yet to be issued against these prematurely freed convicts.
Thelma and Dionisio Chiong, parents of the Chiong sisters, welcomed the President’s order. However, they believe that the 15-day period for the convicts to surrender is too long.
Mrs. Chiong said the time is enough for the convicted criminals to flee from the country. Three of the seven men convicted in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of her daughters were among the almost 2,000 heinous crimes convicts earlier released by BuCor.
She urged the police to already start looking for Josman Aznar, Ariel Balansag, and Alberto Caño. According to Mrs. Chiong, the police should visit the places in Cebu where the three convicts came from and monitor their families.
She likewise asked the help of the community to immediately report to the authorities if they have information on their whereabouts.
A tracker team was already assigned by Cebu City Police Office director Police Colonel Gemma Vinluan to monitor the three convicts in the Chiong case.
Vinluan said that based on the information gathered by her operatives, the three are still in Manila.
Mrs. Chiong asked them to surrender before they get killed by the police. Vinluan also appealed to the three convicts to turn themselves in. She said they are willing to escort the three back to the BuCor.
The Chiong couple yesterday visited the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-7. The unit was responsible for the arrest of the then suspects in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of the Chiong sisters. — FPL (FREEMAN)