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Marcos grants clemency to 22 PDLs

By: Nestor Corrales - Philippine Daily Inquirer | March 10,2024 - 02:50 PM

Bongbong Marcos grants executive clemency to 22 convicts

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President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has granted executive clemency to 22 persons deprived of liberty (PDL), the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said on Saturday.

BuCor said while 20 PDLs were granted commutations of sentences, two were given conditional pardon. They are brothers Alfredo and Leopold Bongcawel.

BuCor Director General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said they would process the release of the Bongcawel brothers as long as they would not “again violate any of our penal laws.”

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The bureau explained executive clemency refers “to the commutation of sentence, conditional pardon and absolute pardon” based on the recommendation by the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Catapang said two PDLs, Roberto Gaut and Pablito Alvaran Jr., had to serve their maximum sentence before they are released.

The other PDLs who were granted executive clemency were Evelyn Palarca, Dioscoro Talapian, Venancio Abanes, Avelino Tadina, Fernando San Jose, Quirino de Torres, Bonifacio Besana, Bernabe Cabrales, Anselmo delas Alas, Arcadio Venzon, Danilo Cabase, Beverly Tibo-Tan, Aurora Ambrocio, Felipe Galarion, Armando Dante, Leopoldo Conlu, Alex Valencerina and Alfredo Toral.

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Good behavior

According to BuCor, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has also ordered the release of eight PDLs who had served their maximum sentence after deducting the credits earned under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law. GCTA reduces sentences of PDLs who show good behavior.

Remulla approved the release of Zaldy Francisco, Benedicto Ramos, David Garcia, Bernardo de Guzman, Rodel Garcia, Armando Canillo, Edilberto Platon and Josefina Patanao.

BuCor said based on their prison records, the eight PDLs were sentenced to at least one count of reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, which has a maximum of 40 years.

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Under Department Order No. 652 signed in November 2022, “the release of all PDLs incarcerated in national penitentiaries with expired sentences shall be approved by the director general of BuCor or his duly authorized representative, in accordance with the mandate of the Bureau.”

It added that “the release of PDLs sentenced to life imprisonment or reclusion perpetua or those classified as high-risk/highprofile shall be implemented only upon prior approval of the secretary of justice.”

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TAGS: Bureau of Corrections, executive clemency, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., PDLs

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