Four Chinese nationals who have been convicted of drug charges were released from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in June Senator Panfilo Lacson told the media today, implying that there were suspicious circumstances around their releases.
As reported by CNN Philippines. Lacson said that he had received information showing that the four convicts, Chan Chit Yue, Ho Kin San, Ching Che, and Wu Hing Sum, were all freed from the prison in Muntinlupa City. However, Lacson said that their release orders could not be found.
Meanwhile, another Chinese convict named Ho Wai Pang will be transferred soon to the Bureau of Immigration for deportation, reported Rappler.
Chan, Ho Kin San, Ho Wai Pang, and Wu were all sentenced in 1995 to six counts of reclusion perpetua for drug smuggling, with each count carrying a 20-year sentence. It’s unclear how long Ching’s imprisonment is supposed to be.
Lacson said he would investigate if the release of the Chinese convicts were done in connection with the Republic Act No. 10592, a 2013 law that deducts as many as 30 days from a prisoner’s term for every month served if they display good behavior during detention.
Senator Lacson said he learned about the release of the Chinese convicts when he was looking for the release order that was allegedly issued for convicted killer-rapist Antonio Sanchez. According to the former Calauan mayor’s son, Allan Sanchez, a release order for the former mayor was issued on August 20. However, when their family arrived at the NBP to pick up their father on that day, Allan received a text message from an unidentified individual telling them that the release order has been put on hold, reported The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he had blocked the release of Mayor Sanchez on Monday because the latter committed a heinous crime, which runs contrary to a provision in RA 10592.
Lacson said that it was possible that bribery played a role in the early release of some convicts due to RA 10592. The law is expected to benefit as many as 11,000 prisoners.
“When we talk of 11,000 convicts to be released at PHP10,000 (US$191.72) each or PHP5,000 (US$95.85) each, you can just imagine the huge amount of money involved. [But] I’m not saying it happened,” he said. “But like what I said, we can think of the possibility. Because why were they [released] in bulk?”