40 GCTA surrenderers escape from Palawan prison

FORTY good conduct time allowance (GCTA) beneficiaries who had voluntarily gone back to prison escaped from the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, an official confirmed on Sunday, November 10.

Iwahig spokesperson Levy Evangelista said they escaped through different exit points on Saturday afternoon, November 9.

He said the GCTA surrenderers may have grown impatient waiting for their release documents to be processed again.

Evangelista said they will still try to convince the 40 escapees to return to prison. They are no longer considered since they were ordered released through GCTA.

GCTA beneficiaries were ordered to voluntarily go back to prison after irregularities in its implementation came to light in August.

More than 2,000 former inmates, including the Chiong convicts, heeded the order of President Rodrigo Duterte and surrendered.

The GCTA scheme was the subject of a Senate investigation, which later morphed into an inquiry on corruption at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the New Bilibid Prison as well as the recycling of illegal drugs confiscated during police operations.

The Iwahig penal colony is one of seven prison facilities run by the BuCor. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)