Palace slams Hultmans over Teehankee release

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — MALACANANG yesterday slammed the Hultmans in connection with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos’ grant of clemency to Claudio Teehankee Jr. last Oct. 2.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said that Teehankee’s clemency underwent the legal procedures mandated by law, pointing out that the Hultmans had previously not manifested any objection to his application for grant of executive clemency.

Ermita also doubted that the President was ever pressured by the Teehankee’s especially that reports claimed that the latter’s sister, Priscilla was a previous classmate of Mrs. Arroyo at the Assumption College.

Reports also claimed that Teehankee’s brother Manuel, who is ambassador and Philippine Representative to the World Trade Organization, had followed up on the clemency with the President that constrained Mrs. Arroyo to sign the clemency.

“Dala na lang seguro ng sama ng loob owing to the public outcry,” Ermita said, pointing out that the government action in granting clemency notably to Teehankee was all covered by official documents and procedures.

He said the Hultmans knew all along about the application for clemency for Teehankee even as he showed to Palace reporters all the documentary evidences that covered his release including their affirmation that the convict had shown genuine remorse and good conduct while in prison..

Citing there was no bias and the clemency to Tehankee was transparent, Ermita also stressed that it is no longer necessary for the Arroyo regime to reach out to the Hultmans to appease them in connection with Tehankee’s release from the New Bilibid Prisons

“They have to go by the law of the Philippines. They have to go over our own procedure,” Ermita said.

Ermita reiterated that Teehankee already served 21 years after his 40 year sentence was commuted to 21 years.

Ermita even showed to the Palace reporters before a nationally televised briefing over a government station the notice of satisfaction last Jan. 13, 2003 by the Hultmans and the settlement agreement signed by Anders and Vivian Hultman, who are the parents of victim Maureen Hultman, wherein they received about P6,964,540 .00

A publication on the clemency for Tehankee was also made on Dec. 28, 2004.

Ermita said that the Hultmans would certainly bring out to the public in case they were not properly compensated by the Teehankees.

Teehankee for his part defended the release of his elder brother.

Manuel made the claim in reaction to the statement of Vivian Hultman — — mother of Claudio’s victim, Maureen — which described the release as “the highest form of injustice” in the Philippines.

Manuel said Mrs. Hultman likely made the claim because she was “emotional.”

Manuel added that Claudio Jr. had been “rehabilitated and reformed” after serving his term at the New Bilibid Prison and that he should be given a chance to show he can be a “productive member of the society” under our restorative justice system.

Claudio Jr., son of the late Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Sr, was convicted in 1995 for the murder of Roland John Chapman and Swedish-Filipino Maureen Hultman.

Teehankee was sentenced to one count of reclusion perpetua and two counts of prison mayor to reclusion temporal, which carry a jail term of 20 to 40 years and 12 to 20 years, respectively.