MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima justified the decision of the Board of Pardons and Parole in denying the plea for clemency of one of those convicted for the death of sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong in Cebu City in 1997.
“The BPP was constrained to do so because its mandate is to resolve application based on certain guidelines and compliance with certain requirements as set forth in the ‘Amended Guidelines for Recommending Executive Clemency.’ [Francisco Juan ‘Paco’] Larranaga has not met the minimum requirements, particularly the minimum years of prison sentence already served,” De Lima said in a text message Tuesday.
Larranaga is now serving a life sentence in a Spanish Prison pursuant to the Treaty of Sentenced Persons between the Philippines and Spain.
Early this month, filmmaker Marty Syjuco returned his Ani ng Dangal Trophy in protest to the BPP’s denial of clemency for Larranaga. Syjuco got the award for the film “Give up Tomorrow” which is about Larranaga and his case.
But De Lima said the BPP’s decision is not yet final.
“The final decision rests on the President. And a favorable recommendation from BPP is not a mandatory prerequisite for the President to exercise his power to grant clemency. We thus transmitted to the Office of the President nonetheless the plea for clemency in behalf of Mr. Larranaga for the President’s consideration,” De Lima said.
Larranaga is the great-grandson of the late President Sergio Osmeña and a scion of the prominent Osmeña family.