Two of the three convicts of the Chiong sisters rape-slay case, who were released by virtue of the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance Law, have surrendered, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Saturday.
Guevarra said Ariel Balansag and Alberto Caño were already under the custody of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) authorities, according to a report on GMA News TV's Balitanghali Weekend.
This came after President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday ordered those freed under the application of GCTA to surrender in 15 days or be treated as fugitives.
Thelma Chiong, mother of the Chiong sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline, said on Saturday in a separate Balitanghali Weekend report she was happy upon hearing of the surrender of Balansag and Caño.
However, she appealed to third convict Josman Aznar to surrender as well.
"At saka si Balansag at si Caño, salamat na na-realize nila na hindi sila dapat sa labas. Nag-surrender na sila kaagad, so thank you very much," she said.
On Friday Thelma attended a permanent housing project event in Naga City, Cebu where Duterte gave his speech.
"Shocked nga ako eh. Out of context, pinasok niya 'yung balita niya na classmate pala niya si Faeldon. So 'yung speech niya kay Faeldon, beginning pa lang, nag-'bull****' na ako eh, nag-walkout na ako. Hindi ko maintindihan bakit ganoon," she said.
Thelma said she is worried that Faeldon might be given another government position by Duterte.
"'Yung takot ko lang baka bibigyan pa ng other position. I was so happy na pinaalis ni Presidente Duterte si Faeldon eh siya ang nagpalaya sa mga kriminal. So ang akin lang is I was so disappointed yesterday na ang Presidente was talking good words for Faeldon so nag-walkout na ako. Baka magwala ako sa loob eh," Thelma said.
Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong were abducted in 1997 outside a mall in Cebu City. The body of one of them was found thrown in a ravine while the body of the other one was never found.
Caño, Balansag, Aznar, Rowen Adlawan, Francisco Juan "Paco" Larrañaga, James Anthony Uy and James Andrew Uy were convicted of kidnapping, illegal detention, rape and homicide. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua in 1999.
It was raised by the Supreme Court to death penalty by lethal injection in 2004.
The decision, however, has been superseded by the abolition of capital punishment in the Philippines in 2006.
Larrañaga is currently serving his sentence in Spain through its Transfer of Sentence Agreement with the Philippines because of his dual citizenship.
On Monday during a Senate hearing, Faeldon admitted that three of the convicts were released based on the GCTA law.
The Palace however said convicts of heinous crimes who were released on the basis of good conduct-based reductions to their prison terms should serve the full term of their service. —Jamil Santos/LBG/KG, GMA News