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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’] Larrañaga has not met the minimum requirements, particularly the minimum years of prison sentence already served,” de Lima said in a text message yesterday.

Larrañaga 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 Larrañaga 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.

Larrañaga is the great-grandson of the late President Sergio Osmeña and a scion of the prominent Osmeña family. Inquirer


PROVINCIAL Board (PB) Member Sun Shimura objected to the board’s decision to dismiss the charges against a barangay captain in Daanbantayan town in their session last Monday.

In yesterday’s 888 News Forum, Shimura blamed partisan politics for the dismissal of charges of grave abuse of authority, oppression, serious misconduct and gross dishonesty against Bakhawan barangay captain Bernadito Luche Jr.

Luche, who was suspended for two months, was penalized for confiscating cut gemilina trees from a private property in barangay Bakhawan and collecting P30 instead of the standard P15 barangay clearance fee in 2011.

Shimura said the PB’s decision to lift the suspension stemmed from Luche’s Liberal Party affiliation. The PB is dominated by the LP-Cebu bloc.

Shimura said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bogo City office said there’s no need to secure a permit to cut trees since it is situated in a private property and were not century trees. Correspondent Christine Emily L. Pantaleon


THE Anakpawis party list group called for a repeal of the oil deregulation law anew after it objected to a 19 centavo increase in power rates that will take effect this month.

Anakpawis partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano said the power rate hike was intended to raise P53 billion to pay off Napocor’s debts.

“It’s not tuwid na daan (straight path) because it is the people who will bear the brunt of the tax increase,” he said.

Instead of an oil deregulation law, Mariano said the government should implement price controls and create a board that will enforce these controls. Correspondent Christine Emily L. Pantaleon


Former senator and now mayoralty candidate John “Sonny” Osmeña said he won’t sign any peace covenant proposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) unless the police arrests the suspect in the murder of his security guard.

In yesterday’s 888 forum, Osmeña reiterated that the suspect in the murder of his security guard was the son of a barangay captain in Toledo City that was cleared after the alleged intervention of Toledo City Mayor Aurelio Espinosa.

He also cited the death of a 90 year-old woman and another woman who died in her own house after it was strafed by unidentified assailants looking for her grandson.

The grandson was the friend of his security guard Rene Embranilag, Osmeña added.

Supt. Henry Biñas, Toledo City police chief, said they are only waiting for the arrest warrant on the suspect. Correspondent Christine Emily L. Pantaleon

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