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After granting executive clemency to actor Robin Padilla, President Duterte said he also plans to give presidential pardon to elderly inmates at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City this Christmas.
“I am contemplating. They are planning it,” Duterte said. “Lahat ng matatanda at ’yung mga may sakit, ’yung may rayuma na hindi na makatakbo, 80-years-old above, kung gusto pa nila may ma-uwian sila I will grant pardon also so that they could return home,” Duterte said.
“Yung nakatira diyan 40 years or more they deserve to be out to decongest the Muntinlupa,” he added.
Duterte on Tuesday granted absolute pardon to Padilla. The actor was handed his executive clemency papers during his meeting with the President at the Study Room in Malacañang.
The absolute pardon gives the actor back his full civil and political rights, which means he may now exercise his right to vote and run for any public office.
“I just granted a pardon in favor of Robin Padilla kasi yung original pardon niya hindi sinali ‘yung full restoration of political and civil rights, therefore he could not travel, he could not get a permit, whatever it is to possess a gun again,” Duterte told reporters.
“I really do not know the dimensions of what is meant by the deprivation of political and civil rights. But one thing is that he could not vote, he cannot travel because he could not be issued a passport… Basta ’yung pardon ko full restoration of all his civil and political rights,” Duterte said.
Padilla was convicted by the Angeles City Regional Trial Court in 1994 for illegal possession of high-powered firearms. He was meted up to 21 years in jail.
After serving three years of his sentence at the NBP, President Fidel V. Ramos gave him conditional pardon. His conditional pardon expired in 2003.
When asked why he granted absolute pardon to Padilla, Duterte said: “Alam mo ’yung crime na ‘yan walang nasaktan. I mean if it is a gun, just like a knife, or a fork, if it is sharp it is potentially dangerous, ilagay mo lang sa lamesa yan, hindi mo galawin hindi naman nakaka ano yan.”
Padilla thanked Duterte, who, in turn, expressed his appreciation on the gesture of respect shown by the actor.
(ELENA L. ABEN)