The Department of Justice on Monday said that two more convicts in the Chiong sisters rape-murder case who were erroneously released from prison on good behavior will surrender.
Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said Josman Aznar and James Anthony Uy will turn themselves in after Ariel Balansag and Alberto Caño returned to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections.
Prison officials had earlier said only three convicts in the case had been released by virtue of the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law, which reduces prison time for good behavior.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared, however, that no convicts doing time for heinous crimes should be covered by the good conduct law—and ordered the rearrest of some 1,914 of such convicts.
Caño, Balansag, Aznar, Uy, Rowen Adlawan, Francisco Juan “Paco” Larrañaga, and James Andrew Uy had been convicted for the 1997 abduction, rape and killing of sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong in Cebu. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua in 1999.
Larrañaga is currently serving his sentence in Spain because of his dual citizenship. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said Larrañaga is still subject to Philippine penal laws even while imprisoned abroad.
The Palace on Monday asked the parents of Marijoy and Jacqueline to “trust the President’s words,” after they expressed disappointment in Duterte’s statement that he still trusted fired BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon.
Thelma Chiong and her husband Dionisio said they were stunned by Duterte’s statement on Friday in Naga City, Cebu, that Faeldon was a good person and that he still believed in him.
Thelma and Dionisio traveled all the way to Naga to thank the President for firing Faeldon and ordering the arrest of convicts in the rape and murder of their daughters.
“Mrs. Chiong, the President knows Mr. Faeldon personally. And there have been experiences in the past that [led him to trust Faeldon],” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said. “So I would suggest trust the President’s words.”
Panelo would not say if Faeldon would be appointed to yet another government position.
“That’s the call of the President. If the President trusts him, we have to trust him on that,” he said.
Faeldon used to be the Bureau of Customs chief but he stepped down after millions of pesos worth of shabu slipped through the ports. Duterte later reappointed him to the Office of Civil Defense as deputy administrator and then later as BuCor chief.
In related developments:
• The Bureau of Immigration is checking its records to see if any of the heinous crime convicts released through the GCTA have already left the country.
• A man convicted of murder, Ernesto Silorio Sinda, who was serving his sentence at a prison facility in Occidental Mindoro but was released under the GCTA Law surrendered to the police in Mabinay, Negros Oriental over the weekend. With PNA