4 convicts get reprieve


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President Aquino commutes their sentences; one British national gets pardoned too

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has commuted the sentences of four Filipino convicts and granted conditional pardon to a British national jailed for drug trafficking, Malacanang announced on Monday, Dec. 26, 2011.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters that Mr. Aquino has granted British national William Burton, a drug trafficker,  conditional pardon with voluntary repatriation.

Under the conditions of the pardon, Burton is to pay a fine of P20,000, as earlier ordered by the court, and shall “voluntarily agree to be deported, never to return to the Philippines” being an “undesirable alien.”

Burton will be turned over to the Bureau of Immigration for “proper disposition” upon his release from the National Penitentiary, and would shoulder the transportation expenses he would incur for his trip back to Rufforth in Yokshire, England–to be done at the earliest possible time.

Valte said that the President signed Burton’s conditional pardon on December 21 and the commutation of sentences of the four Filipino convicts on December 23.

Valte said the jail term of Aurelio Nartatez–convicted of violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act and sentenced to a prison term of 12 years and one day to 20 years, and ordered to pay a fine of P300,000–has been commuted to an indeterminate prison term of seven to 12 years, and must pay the P300,000 fine.

The Regional Trial Court of Dapa, Surigao del Norte, had convicted Antonio Aure of illegal fishing with the use of explosives, and was sentenced to 20 years to reclusion perpetua, but the President commuted his possible life sentence to 27 years.

The life sentence of Alvani Salasa, convicted of robbery and homicide, has been commuted to a definite prison term of 27 years, while the life term of Eddy Paneza, who had been convicted of highway robbery, has been commuted to a definite prison term of 25 years and has been ordered to pay a civil indemnity of P50,000. – Rappler.com

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