MANILA: Philippine police pledged yesterday to track down nearly 2,000 ex-prisoners including convicted murderers and rapists who were let out early for good behavior, in some cases years ago. Revelations in recent weeks about the inmates’ release have sparked outrage in the Philippines, with critics accusing authorities of gross incompetence and possibly corruption. “I have immediately directed all police units nationwide to receive and account for (the ex-prisoners),” national police chief Oscar Albayalde told reporters. “Tracker teams… will be deployed”.

The controversy centers on about 1,900 people convicted of serious crimes such as rape, murder and kidnapping who were released early due to good conduct under a 2013 law intended to ease conditions at the nation’s notoriously overcrowded prisons. —AFP