MANILA–Malacañang said on Saturday that it did not blame arrested Sen. Leila de Lima and the past administration for the “fiasco” created by the contentious GCTA legislation signed in 2013 by former President Benigno Aquino III.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo stated in a declaration that he was about the law “just stating the facts.
The President and this representation do not blame the past administration and Senator Leila de Lima, who was its Secretary of Justice, for the mess in implementing Republic Law No. 10592, in particular with regard to the regulations regulating the allowance for excellent behavior for individuals deprived of freedom (PDLs).
Republic Law No. 10592 includes GCTA clauses allowing convicts to be released soon on the basis of excellent behavior.
Since 2013, it has courted controversy over the release of some 2,000 heinous criminal convicts and the near-liberation of former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted of the 1993 rape-slay of college student Eileen Sarmenta and her partner Allan Gomez killing.
During the closely followed trial, Panelo had represented Sanchez. On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte fired Nicanor Faeldon, Chief of the Bureau of Corrections, and gave the convicts 15 days to return to jail or face warrantless arrest.
Last Tuesday, Panelo said that if anyone was to blame for the execution of the GCTA, it should be the Aquino administration since the implementing rules and provisions of the law were laid down by then Secretary of Justice De Lima and former Secretary Mar Roxas, who was the rival of President Rodrigo Duterte during the presidential race in May 2016.
Last Thursday, the spokesperson reiterated that De Lima had created laws and regulations that deviated from the law’s purpose. “The facts remain uncontroversial and clear.
De Lima, one of Duterte’s and his allies ‘ strongest critics, earlier laughed at Panelo’s remarks, stating she and the previous administration are always the scapegoat of the government when things go wrong.