40 inmates escape from Iwahig prison

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    FORTY former inmates at Palawan’s Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm who have been freed for good conduct and later heeded President Duterte’s call to surrender escaped on Saturday afternoon.

    Two of them were back at Iwahig by Saturday night while manhunt operations are ongoing for the rest, said Maj. Albert Tapiru, spokesman of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

    Tapiru said the escape took place at around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday

    Earlier, Iwahig spokesman Levy Evangelista said the former inmates wanted to go home but they were asked to wait for the completion of their processing by the BuCor and the Department of Justice, which will make their release proper and legal.

    Questions on the release of inmates under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law were raised last August following reports that rape and murder convict Antonio Sanchez was among those to be released for good behavior. Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan town in Laguna, is serving seven life terms.

    Amid the controversy, President Duterte ordered a review of the good conduct law and told the GCTA-freed inmates to surrender. The justice and interior departments have come out with revised rules for the release of inmates for good conduct.

    At least a hundred former inmates released through GCTA were freed by the BuCor last month. Their release was approved by the DOJ oversight committee tasked to evaluate and review the records of the inmates released by the BuCor.