By Hanah Tabios

More than 20 years after his conviction, a senior citizen in Mandaluyong City surrendered to authorities Monday afternoon after he was allegedly erroneously released under the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

viber image 2019 09 10 05 12 28 - 65 yr-old convict released because of GCTA surrenders to Mandaluyong police

(Eastern Police District PIO / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Police Col. Remigio Sedanto, Mandaluyong City chief of police, Celestino Abapo, 65, of Barangay Pleasant Hills, was the first GCTA beneficiary to surrender to the said police station.

Abapo was convicted on January 23, 1995, for two counts of murder. He has been serving his sentence at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) for more than two decades until his premature release on April 5 this year.

“Allegedly, nakursunada siya noon. Na-involve sa riot sa barangay, nakapatay,” the police chief told the Manila Bulletin in an interview.

After his release, Abapo started a new life by working as “Bantay Bayan” in his barangay. But after President Rodrigo Duterte’s 15-day ultimatum to freed GCTA beneficiaries, he has to go back to prison while his records and the law are being reviewed.

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