De Lima rejects PACC’s plan to probe her over GCTA mess

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has objected to the plan by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to investigate her for the alleged misuse and abuses committed under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law.

De Lima, a former justice secretary, said PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna should stop dragging her and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the controversy hounding the implementation of GCTA Law to earn “brownie points” from Mr. Duterte.

“Commissioner Manuelito Luna of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has reportedly announced that they are also asking me and Sec. Mar Roxas to explain some issues in the IRR of the GCTA Law,” she recalled in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 596.

“I say to them: Don’t bother to send me any letter or order requiring me to explain or any other paper of similar import. I might just tear that into pieces,” she added.

The PACC is reportedly pursuing a separate investigation into the controversial implementation of the GCTA Law despite the prohibition of the Office of the Ombudsman, which notably claimed sole jurisdiction over the issue.

As a sitting senator, De Lima pointed out that PACC has no jurisdiction or authority over her.

“I do not at all recognize the PACC’s jurisdiction or authority over me, a sitting Senator. Sa kagustuhan nyong magpapogi kay Duterte, nagpapakagago kayo!” she said.

De Lima also cried foul over attempts by the Duterte administration to use her as a convenient scapegoat in the abuses of granting GCTA to unqualified or undeserving convicted inmates by recently-resigned BuCor Chief Nicanor Faeldon and his minions.

She also maintained that her colleagues in Congress should not blame the enactment of GCTA law, but determine whether its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) has strictly been followed.

In the 18th Congress, De Lima has filed two measures – Senate Bill (SB) No. 180 and 181 – which aim to help initiate comprehensive reforms in the country’s prison and correctional systems.

SB No. 181 seeks to integrate the management of BuCor, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and provincial jail services, under one agency to be called as the National Commission on Corrections and Jail Management (NCCJM).

Under the said measure, the proposed NCCJM will be tasked to provide safeguarding of detainees, the custody and reformation of prisoners, and the professionalization of all correctional personnel.

SB No. 180, meanwhile, seeks to institutionalize prison reform and restorative justice in the country’s correctional system to ensure the effective rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates while according full respect of their rights.

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