MANILA, Philippines – Convicted road rage killer Rolito Go and other high-profile convicts are not included in the list of 200 inmates recommended by the Department of Justice to President Benigno Aquino III for executive clemency, in time for the visit of Pope Francis.
Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) director Franklin Bucayu said on Tuesday, January 6, that while priority for has been given to elderly and terminally-ill inmates, the BuCor did not include Go, who has stage 4 colon cancer, in the list.
Asked why, the BuCor chief said the relatives of Go’s victim, De La Salle University graduate Eldon Maguan, have opposed the inclusion of Go in the list of candidates for executive clemency.
He added that the BuCor has excluded high profile inmates from the list to avert any possible controversy that may affect the chances of “deserving” inmates.
“Baka kasi kapag nakita [siya] sa list eh ma-disapprove agad at madamay pa ‘yung iba (If his name is on the list, it might be disapproved right away, affecting other [inmates]),” Bucayu said.
He added, “Mahirap kasi ‘pag high profile, madami mag-o-object and we don’t want na madamay ‘yung ibang deserving (It’s difficult to have high profile inmates in the list, many will obect and we don’t want to negate the chances of those who are deserving).”
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she targets to submit the list of inmates to the President on Wednesday.
The executive clemency grant is expected to be made in time for the Pope’s visit from January 15 to 19, as Aquino’s gift to his state guest.
Go, then a wealthy businessman, was sentenced to a 40-year jail term in 1993 for the fatal shooting of Maguan during a traffic altercation in Greenhills, San Juan, in 1991.
Go escaped from jail on November 1, 1993, prior to his conviction by the Pasig Regional Trial Court. He was re-arrested on April 30, 1996, in Pampanga.
During the presidency of now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Go appealed for executive clemency but was denied.
In August 2012, Go also disappeared from the NBP, allegedly abducted. He reappeared a day after.
Last year, Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero granted Go’s plea to be released, on his argument that he has already fully served his sentence based on an adjusted computation of his prison term.
The Department of Justice said, however, that Go has yet completed his term, based on the computation of the BuCor, and should remain at the NBP. – Rappler.com
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