“xxx. The question here is who has authority to grant good conduct time allowances, not on what basis such allowances should be made.
In Kabigting v. Director of Prisons, G.R. No. L-12276, Aug. 26, 1958, it was held that in habeas corpus proceedings, the trial court has no power to grant the petitioner time allowances for good conduct "[because] in accordance with Article 99 of the Revised Penal Code it is the Director of the Prisons who shall grant allowances for good conduct if such good conduct has been observed by the prisoner concerned." In People v. Tan, 19 SCRA 433 (1967), it was emphatically held that a provincial warden cannot grant credit for good conduct to a prisoner and order his release because Art. 99 of the Revised Penal Code vests the authority to grant prisoners good conduct time allowances "exclusively in the Director and [in] no one else." In that case, the prisoner was under the supervision and control of the provincial warden, but the authority of the Director to grant good conduct time allowances was upheld. Indeed, there is nothing in R.A. No. 6975 [‘Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990’] which repeals Art. 99 [‘Who grants time allowances’] of the Revised Penal Code.
X x x.
Needless to say, the writ of habeas corpus remains available as a remedy against any abuse of the authority granted by Art. 99 of the Revised Penal Code to the Director of Prisons, but that is altogether a different kettle of fish from the question posed in this case. Here, the question is whether a court may rely on the certification of the City Warden as to good conduct time allowances in ordering the release of prisoners by writ of habeas corpus. We hold that it cannot, in view of Art. 99 of the Revised Penal Code vesting the authority to grant good conduct time allowances solely in the Director of Prisons.
In view of the foregoing, we are constrained to order the re-arrest of all of respondents. This can be done without placing them in double jeopardy of being punished for the same offense because their re-incarceration is merely a continuation of the penalties that they had not completely served due to the invalid crediting of good conduct time allowances in their favor. [citing People v. Tan, 19 SCRA 433 (1967)].
WHEREFORE, the appealed order is SET ASIDE and the case is hereby REMANDED to the trial judge for further proceedings, taking into account the certification of the Director of the Bureau of Corrections as to the good conduct time allowances to which respondents may be entitled, by either granting the writ of habeas corpus with respect to some of the respondents or ordering the re-arrest of others, as the facts may warrant.”