MANILA—Some 39 convicts are set to receive certificate of conditional and commutation pardons in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order granting executive clemency to 127 convicts.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II will award the 39 prisoners the discharge on parole papers on Tuesday night held at the DOJ main office in Manila.
The list of the 39 parolees was released as a result of the March 9 meeting held by the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) which is chaired by Aguirre.
The DOJ Secretary also said that he made the recommendations for presidential pardon upon endorsement by the BPP after reviewing the eligibility of the inmates in the list.
“This is in line with the President’s pronouncement to decongest the high volume of PDLs (persons deprived of liberty), relatively bigger than what our prison facilities can accomodate and the prompt release of deserving prisoners for parole, pardon, and the end of sentence with correct computations of good conduct and allowances,” DOJ said in a statement.
The DOJ indicated that those discharged on parole “shall be automatically released from prison upon the award of the papers to them.”
While out on parole, the parolees will be placed under the supervision of the DOJ’s Parole and Probation Administration (PPA) until they reached the maximum period of their prison sentences.
However, the DOJ warned that any violation of the parole conditions “shall be a ground for recommitment in prison upon the recommendation of PPA and approval of the BPP (Board of Pardons and Parole).”
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.
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.
Last March 7, a total of 27 convicts received certificate of conditional and commutation pardons.
Aguirre said that of the 27 inmates awarded, only four were granted conditional pardon while 23 were awarded commutations of sentence and all will be able to go home.
Aguirre said that one inmate identified as Rogelio Malagutnot, who was granted commutation of sentence last Feb. 22, passed away just two days prior to the grant.
He noted that aside from the 127 elderly inmates, there have been 1,245 inmates who were granted parole under the first seven months of President Duterte.
Earlier, DOJ Undersecretary Reynante Orceo said that the agency wants to standardize the computation of good conduct and time allowances to hasten the release of elderly inmates in line with the executive clemency ordered by President Duterte.
Orceo said that the carpeta or the record of inmates’ sentences both from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penelogy (BJMP) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) must be standardized.
The BJMP is under the Department of Interior and Local Government while the BuCor is under the DOJ.
”Ang recommendation namin isa na lang sana gawin natin process standardilization ang tawag ko dun isa na lang sana ang computation mula sa computation ng BJMP hanggang sa BuCor dala dala niya yung carpeta niya kaya dapat magkaroon ng single Carpeta system wherein the computation of isang inmate yung nakakulong sa BJMP na facilities ay carry over sa BuCor kasi from BuCor ito na yung total computation para marecommend sa Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) yung executive clemency so BPP kasi ito yung pinka last stop na recommendations papunta sa Presidente,” Orceo noted
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.