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Chiong couple refuses to attend Senate probe on GCTA law

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio September 04,2019 - 07:11 PM

Thelma Chiong, mother of Marijoy, 20, and Jacqueline, 22, says the release of three of the seven men convicted in the rape and murder of her daughters is painful and unjust. The men were reportedly freed under a 2013 law that shaves time off prison terms for good behavior. -CEBU DAILY NEWS PHOTOS

CEBU CITY, Philippines — “We will not face the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.”

This was the statement of couple Thelma and Dionysio Chiong, in relation to the release of the three out of seven men convicted for the rape and murder of their two daughters, Marijoy and Jacqueline in 1997.

On September 2, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon confirmed that three men have been released under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.

READ: Faeldon confirms release of 3 convicts in Chiong sisters rape-slay case

Contrary to reports that they are hiding, Thelma told CDN Digital in a phone interview that they are in Cebu and have even visited the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) this week since they found out that the Senate ordered the law enforcement agencies to find them.

But Thelma said they were not able to meet Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, director of PRO-7, because he was out of town.

Thelma did not give the specific date of their visit.

Thelma said they no longer want to talk to the Senate because she wants them to take action by rearresting Josman Aznar, Alberto Caño, and Ariel Balansag.

She said the release of the convicts is an insult to the memory of her daughters who died in their hands.

Thelma said the release of Aznar, Caño, and Balansag is also an insult to the long judicial process that they underwent to get the justice for her daughters.

Thelma said she will refuse the invitation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

Wala ko nahadlok nga dili ko moatubang nila (Senate). Dili man ko mapriso ana. Dili man kami ang nakasala. (I am not afraid not to face them because I will not be be jailed for that. We are not the one at fault),” said Thelma.

In an earlier interview published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), Chiong said her family will not take any legal action against the officials behind the release of her daughters’ convicted killers.

“I’m 67 years old. I can no longer handle it. I leave this to God,” she was quoted saying in the PDI story.

READ: Clamor mounts for ouster of BuCor chief

On September 2, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee began its investigation into the release of nearly 2,000 individuals convicted of murder, rape, drug offenses, parricide, kidnapping and arson.

The said convicts were released with the green light of Faeldon, who heads the Bureau of Corrections.

Police Colonel Gemma Vinluan, director of the Cebu City Police Office, said they are now monitoring reports that one of the convicted men in the rape-slay of the Chiong sisters is already home in Cebu.

Vinluan said police personnel have been deployed to monitor the convict and to make sure he does not return to his illegal ways.

As of now, the CCPO director said he will be allowed to roam free in Cebu.

“Pag mag-utos ang korte and ma-find out na may irregularity sa pagpaprocess ng GCTA at ipaapresto sila, they will be considered as fugitives. Huhulihin po natin yung mga yun kung sakaling lalabas ang order ng korte,” said Vinluan.

(If the court issues an order and finds out that there was an irregularity in the processing of the GCTA, and the court orders their arrest, they will be considered as fugitives [if they refuse to surrender]. We will arrest them if the court releases an order.)

Vinluan said she is not in favor of the release of convicted individuals involved in heinous crimes and were incarcerated at the Bilibid Prison.

She said these individuals may have formed connections with illegal drug trade players while they were in jail.

Vinluan said she does not discount that some people may change for the better.

But she said that the police force should be wary about these convicts because they can never be too sure about what will happen when they are release to the community and how much their presence will affect the community’s safety situation. / celr

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TAGS: CCPO, Nicanor Faeldon, PRO 7, Senate blue ribbon committee

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