De Lima: President has final say on Larrañaga clemency plea-A A +A
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima said President Benigno Aquino III has the final say whether one of those convicted in the murder of sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong in Cebu City in 1997 should be released from a Spanish detention facility.
In a text message late Tuesday, de Lima said the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) rejected the appeal for clemency by Francisco Juan “Paco” Larrañaga for failing to meet the minimum years of prison sentence already served under the “Amended Guidelines for Recommending Executive Clemency.”
“The final decision rests on the President. And a favorable recommendation from BPP is not a mandatory prerequisite for the President to exercise his power to grant clemency. We thus transmitted to the Office of the President nonetheless the plea for clemency in behalf of Mr. Larrañaga for the President’s consideration,” she said.
Larrañaga was penalized by a Cebu City court in 1999 with two life terms, along with six other men, on charges of murder, kidnapping, and illegal detention. The Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling in 2004.
He has been serving the remainder of his jail term in Spain since 2009 under the Treaty of Sentenced Persons entered into by the European nation with the Philippines.
Larrañaga’s life was a subject of the film “Give up Tomorrow”, whose director, Marky Syjuco, returned last Friday the Ani ng Dangal trophy to the government in protest to the BPP’s action.
BPP is an attached agency of the Department of Justice. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)