Granting executive clemency to elderly inmates is currently being studied by Malacañang with recommendations set to come out soon after things are sorted out that will prove to be beneficial.
This was said by presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda on a government-run dzRB radio recently as he stated that this developed following a report on The Philippine Star which stated that Public Attorney’s Office head Persida Acosta asked President Benigno Aquino III to grant pardon to elderly and ill inmates.
The PAO head was quoted in the report as saying ‘most of the convicts are seriously ill, and that they are hoping Pres. Aquino will consider’ their present state under humanitarian reasons.
Lacierda, on the other hand, did not elaborate further as he said that he does not want to give “false hope” to those concerned.
“It is best not to give false hope on anyone, but the palace assures everyone that the matter is being given utmost attention,” he disclosed.
Last month, the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) recommended some 47 inmates for executive clemency. The decision remains pending in Malacañang.
The president of the republic usually grants executive clemency during Christmas season. In 2012, Pres. Aquino granted executive clemency to eight elderly inmates where six of them were given conditional pardon with parole conditions.
Meanwhile, the BPP is currently reviewing the cases of 85 other inmates applying for presidential pardon.
Executive clemency is provided for under Article VII, Section 19 of the Constitution. It pertains to reprieve, absolute or conditional pardon with or without parole conditions and commutation of sentence.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima previously said the humanitarian act on the part of the resident is a sign that the highest official of the country recognizes the principle of restorative justice which must prevail in justice system.
According to her, crimes must definitely be punished at the same time be acknowledged but transformation should also be given to those who will sincerely wish to become better citizens and members of society as she added that even ‘criminals deserve second chance.’