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P-Noy to get list of Bilibid inmates eyed for pardon

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is set to submit to President Aquino this week a list of aged and seriously ill inmates at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa that she is recommending for pardon.

De Lima said she was expecting the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to submit to her office today the list of inmates who have applied for executive clemency.

“I will vet the list and then submit to the President my recommendations maybe on Wednesday,” she added.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines earlier appealed to Aquino to grant executive clemency to inmates who are either visitorless, indigent, sick, old or abandoned by family and relatives.

De Lima earlier bared that Aquino intends to grant executive clemency to qualified inmates and present it as a gift to Pope Francis who will visit the country next week. But she has not identified the inmates being considered for pardon and did not say if they include high-profile inmates pending evaluation.

Vice President Jejomar Binay welcomed Aquino’s plan to pardon inmates, saying the impending pardon of these inmates will bring hope to other prisoners who have atoned for their crimes and wish to become productive members of society again.

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“This is welcome news that is certainly in line with the message of love and compassion that the pope represents,” Binay added.

Last Nov. 27, the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) recommended 47 inmates for executive clemency. The decision remains pending at the Palace with just a few days left in the Christmas season when pardon is usually granted.

The BPP is also reviewing the cases of 85 inmates who also applied for presidential pardon.

Executive clemency, which is a power given to the President to pardon any prisoner, provided for under Article VII, Section 19 of the Constitution, 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 the person has served the minimum of his sentence. – With Helen Flores


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