DOJ: New rules on pardon, parole to wait 15 days more
Despite the outbreak of COVID-19 in several jail facilities, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will observe the regulation 15-day wait after publication before implementing its new rules meant to expedite the release of inmates on parole or pardon.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the resolution of the Board of Pardons and Parole dated April 15 will be published on April 30 and will take effect on May 15.
Under the resolution, the Board of Pardon and Parole will allow inmates not previously eligible for parole or executive clemency to apply if they meet certain criteria.
The April 15 resolution allowed prisoners over 65 years old and who have served at least five years of their sentence, as well as prisoners “whose continued imprisonment is inimical to their health” as certified by a government physician, to apply for executive clemency.
The Supreme Court has also ordered courts to reduce the bail amount to allow more indigent detainees to avail of it amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the country’s congested jails.
Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Thursday said indigent detainees can be temporarily freed through reduced bail or through recognizance, which means they will be released to a respected member of the community.
The high court order said that bail for detainees charged with a crime punishable with reclusion temporal, or between 12 to 20 years in prison, shall be computed by getting the medium period multiplied by P3,000 for every year of imprisonment.
Peralta also allowed the pilot testing of videoconference criminal hearings for urgent matters, including bail hearings.
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