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The Supreme Court upholds the GCTA exclusions and rejects the release of a murder offender.

The Supreme Court (SC) has denied a plea filed by a murder offender seeking to be released from jail under Republic Act 10592, also known as the law awarding good conduct time allowance (GCTA) to those deprived of their liberty (PDLs).

The tribunal’s second division dismissed PDL Gil Miguel’s bid for release after serving 27 years of a reclusion perpetua sentence imposed on him for murder in a 10-page ruling issued by Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando and published online by the high court on November 29.

According to the court, the GCTA Law and its updated implementing rules and regulations announced in 2019 “have made it plainly obvious that those charged with and/or convicted of heinous crimes are not entitled to the benefits under the law.”

The court stated that “the sentence of reclusion Perpetua needs at least 30 years of incarceration, after which the convict becomes only eligible for a pardon, and not for parole,” citing articles of GCTA law and the IRR.

“It is self-evident that murder is a crime that must be punished by death, as stipulated by the death sentence law. As a result, it is classified as a heinous crime under the definition of heinous crimes in the 2019 updated implementing rules and regulations. To summarize, murder is deemed a serious crime under the GCTA law, and those accused with and/or convicted of it are barred from benefiting from the statute’s provisions “According to the Supreme Court.

Miguel was charged with murder in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in 1991, was found guilty, and sentenced to life in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa in 1994. In 1996, the Supreme Court upheld his conviction.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they will appeal a November ruling by a lower court involving it in the case of Juanito Itaas, an accused in the April 1989 murder of American military adviser Col. James Rowe in Quezon City, citing the GCTA Law’s 2019 Revised IRR in denying the release of a PDL charged with murder.

“As I previously stated, the Supreme Court has the final say on all constitutional problems. An MR (motion for reconsideration) has been filed at the RTC by the OSG (Office of the Solicitor General). It is prepared to appeal the trial court’s decision all the way to the Supreme Court. The Department of Justice prepared the new GCTA implementing rules and regulations in conformity with the law’s spirit as well as its letter “In a message, Guevarra stated.

Despite the Supreme Court’s decision in September, a Muntinlupa court-authorized Itaas’ release in November, after he had served 32 years, one month, and 12 days of his total sentence of 39 years and six months.

Since his arrest on Aug. 27, 1989, he would be given 10,698 days, or the equivalent of 29.31 years, under the GCTA.

A section in the IRR that states “recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees, and people accused with heinous crimes are excluded from the provisions of this Act” was deemed unlawful by Muntinlupa RTC Judge Gener Gito.

“The Court, on the other hand, believes that the statement ‘provided, finally, that recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees, and those charged with heinous crimes are excluded from the coverage of this Act’ cannot be utilized to justify expanding the exceptions to the benefits given by RA 10592.” “This phrase correctly refers only to those accused who are subject to preventive incarceration under Article 29 of the RPC,” Gito explained.

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