Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II confirmed on Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte had pardoned 27 elderly and frail prisoners.
In a dzMM radio interview, Aguirre said that the first batch are the ones who were given conditional pardon and commutation of pardon. He shall issue these pardons signed by the President in a small ceremony tomorrow, March 7.
The Malacanang had submitted a total of 127 petitions to the DOJ’s Board of Pardon and Parole. The remaining 100 can expect release within the coming months. According to Aguirre, two prisoners had been recommended to receive absolute pardon and there are thirty inmates who had been endorsed during the time of the Former President Benigno Aquino III.
“There are 100 more but we will explain that because most of them will be given commutation or shortening of sentence, but even if we shorten the sentence there are some months remaining. Some will be freed next month, some in May, so we will free them batch by batch,” said Aguirre.
Duterte had been vocal about his intention to grant executive clemency to elderly prisoners who are aged 80 or above, those who are sickly, and those who had spent time in jail for the past 40 years.
The Department of Justice is still looking into the possibility of adding more candidates to the list.