Manila Bulletin

Old, sickly PDLS entitled to executive clemency - DOJ

by Jeffrey damicog

Persons deprived of liberty (PDLS) who are 70 years old and above, sickly, have served at least 10 years of their prison term, including those considered “high risk”, are now qualified for executive clemency, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said yesterday.

DOJ Undersecretary Jesse Hermogenes T. Andres said the executive clemency for old and sickly PDLS is contained in Resolution No. OT-08 -02-2023 issued by the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) last week.

Andres said that under the resolution, “PDLS who are 70 years old and, even if they are considered high-risk, if they have already served 10 years of their sentence, they shall now be considered for executive clemency specially if they are suffering from old age, being sickly, or terminal or life threatening illnesses or other serious disability.”

Executive clemency refers to reprieve, absolute pardon, conditional pardon with or without parole conditions, and commutation of sentence. It is issued by the President.

The BPP resolution was disclosed by Andres during the second and last day of the National Jail Decongestion Summit being conducted by representatives of all branches of government -- executive, legislative, and judiciary.

The summit is spearheaded by the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) composed of the Supreme Court, Department of Justice and Department of the Interior and Local Government.

It is aimed at coming out with policies and procedures to decongest the heavily congested jail facilities in the country.

Andres said at least two PDLS have benefitted from the BPP resolution. He identified them as PDLS Roberto Salvador, 78, and Gerardo V. Dela Pena, 84.

He said that Salvador, who was convicted of murder and had served 26 years in prison since 1997, is “now entitled to be granted and was granted clemency through commutation of service issued by President Marcos.”

In the case of Dela Pena, Andres said the PDL is a political detainee who was convicted of murder. Previously, Dela Pena was not entitled for release, he said.

“But, now because of this new resolution, that instead of 15 years it’s only 10 years. Dela Pena, who had served 11 years, will now be entitled to be recommended for release under this new resolution,” he explained.





Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp