Pardon granted to Pemberton not special treatment, says Guevarra
MANILA, Philippines — Granting absolute pardon to Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton cannot be considered special treatment, as President Rodrigo Duterte has pardoned more Filipinos compared to foreigners.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said since the President assumed the Presidency, he has pardoned a total of 139 persons deprived of liberty.
Of the 139, 135 are Filipinos and only four were foreigners. He said of the four, 2 that were under a prisoner swap deal with the UAE.
The number, Guevarra said over ANC: “is a lot more than than the total number of pardons given during the previous administration.”
“Mas maluwag ang Presidente [Duterte] sa pagbibigay ng pardons (President Duterte is more lenient in giving pardons),” he added.
Aside from granting of executive clemency, Guevarra said Filipino inmates have also benefitted from the GCTA or the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law.
“Since the time that the IRR was revised September last year up to September of this year, a total of something like 90 or 91 PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) were processed in accordance with the revised IRR of the GCTA Law,” he said citing figures from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
In August last year, Guevarra has ordered the suspension of the GCTA processing following reports that unqualified persons have benefitted from the law.
GCTA processing resumed after the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) released a revised IRR of the GCTA Law in September last year.
Republic Act 10592, also known as the GCTA Law, was passed in 2013 and revised provisions of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) which allowed the earlier release of convicts due to the increase of GCTAs granted to them. [ac]
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