MANILA—Some 27 convicts are set to receive certificate of conditional and commutation pardons on Tuesday in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order granting executive clemency to 127 convicts.
This was bared by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday.
Aguirre said he will give the pardons signed by the President in a simple ceremony on Tuesday morning held at the New Bilbid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
“This is the first batch; 27 convicts will be given conditional pardon at commutation of pardon. The next batch will be next month and also in May it will be batch by batch,” Aguirre said in a radio interview.
He noted that the agency’s Board of Pardons and Parole is continues looking into recommending more inmates for the presidential pardon.
The DOJ Secretary also said that he made the recommendations for presidential pardon upon endorsement by the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) after reviewing the eligibility of the inmates in the list.
Earlier, Aguirre said that no high profile inmate is among the said list of inmates, noting that most of them are elderly and sick inmates from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City and other penal colonies operated by the Bureau of Corrections.
He said he could not recall if the list include political prisoners whom the National Democratic Front (NDF) have asked to be released.
Executive clemency is a power of the President to pardon any prisoner, provided for under Article VII, Section 19 of the Constitution and pertains to reprieve, absolute or conditional pardon with or without parole conditions and commutation of sentence.
Parole on the other hand is the conditional release of a prisoner from a correctional institution after he or she has served the minimum of his or her sentence.
The list included 100 inmates recommended for commutation of sentences, 14 for conditional pardon with parole, 18 for conditional pardon without parole and two for absolute pardon.
Last November, President Duterte granted pardon to actor Robin Padilla, after he was among those recommended by the BPP for executive clemency.
The actor, known as Robinhood Ferdinand Cariño Padilla in real life, has applied for absolute pardon for his 1994 conviction for illegal possession firearms where he was sentenced with up to 21 years in prison.
He served three years at the NBP in Muntinlupa before being released in April 1997 by then president Fidel Ramos who granted him conditional pardon.
The BPP earlier said that as of November 2015, it has listed 473 inmates seeking executive clemency.
Under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III, only nine inmates were granted clemency.