The Philippine Department of Justice said plunder convict Janet Lim Napoles remains in a correctional facility despite being included in a list of inmates eligible for early release under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.
Justice Undersecretary Mark Perete, spokesperson for the department, on Thursday, September 12, stressed that she “remains at the Correctional Institution for Women” and has not been released.
Perete also said that the DOJ has asked the BuCor for an explanation regarding Napoles’ inclusion in the list of nearly 2,000 GCTA beneficiaries who may soon walk free from prison.
ABS-CBN first reported that Napoles was part of the list, noting that the charge attached to her — rape, not plunder — expired on Nov. 12, 2018.
Napoles, the brains behind the multi-billion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (also known as the pork barrel scam), was convicted of plunder and is facing a string of criminal cases before the Sandiganbayan.
Sen. Richard Gordon brought up the error-riddled list on Thursday when the Senate resumed its inquiry into the GCTA law, which drew public ire after several reports that said it has freed over 2,000 heinous crime convicts since 2014 and could have released Antonio Sanchez, a former mayor convicted in a highly followed 1990s rape-murder case involving two University of the Philippines, Los Baños students.
Gordon, who is the chair of the Senate’s Blue Ribbon Committee, noted that there were inmates whose names were listed twice as well as inmates listed with wrong crimes.
In response, BuCor Documentations and Record Section chief Ramon Roque, who is currently suspended from service, said that the list was made in haste.
“Yung list na yan, mabilisan pong pinagawa samin. Magpe-presscon po kasi (The list was made in haste because we were going to hold a press conference),” he said.