Malacañang said yesterday that it is up to President Duterte if he will grant the absolute pardon being requested by former Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Romeo Jalosjos.
Jalosjos, who was convicted for raping an 11-year-old girl in 1996, is seeking clemency in a bid to run in the next elections.
According to presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, the Constitution authorizes the President to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons.
“The Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) has included the name of former Rep. Romeo Jalosjos seeking absolute pardon, but it is really up to the President to grant it,” Abella said in a text message.
The BPP, in a public notice, included Jalosjos’ name as one of the 36 convicts who are seeking the President’s executive clemency this year.
A Makati City Regional Trial Court sentenced Jalosjos to two life terms after he was found guilty of raping an 11-year-old girl in 1996 twice. Then President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo granted him clemency in 2007 and commuted his sentence to 16 years. He was released in March 2009.
Jalosjos tried to run for mayor in Zamboanga City last 2013 but was disqualified by the Commission on Elections due to his conviction.The Supreme Court later upheld the Comelec’s decision. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)