22 inmates pardoned

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — TWENTY-TWO more inmates earned their pre-Christmas gifts as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo granted them their executive clemency.

The luckier one is Rodolfo Caddarao who was granted absolute pardon and will be added to the more than 15,125 inmates who were given clemency by the President since 2004.

From the list, there are no high profile inmates. The likes of convict Rolito Go, whose clemency and liberty is being strongly opposed by the Maguan clan.

Felizardo Taran and Rolando de Guzman, who are among the 12 remaining convicted soldiers in the Aquino-Galman double murder case are not listed, too, in the same list distributed to Palace reporters only yesterday.

Taran and De Guzman and the other Aquino convicts — all imprisoned for about 34 years inclusive of good conduct time allowance (GCTA), lamented that politics is derailing their freedom.

Judith Abellar, Lemuel Cabrera, Joel Cacayan — all obscure names — were granted conditional pardon with parole conditions.

Inmates whose sentence were commuted include Pablo Adoviso, Allan Arreza, Conrado Avila, Mike Bighanilum, Joel de La Cruz, Ronald De Vera, Piniano Dolar Jr., Norma Ferrer, Ronnie Floreno, Rosalino Flores, Manuel Lucas, Leonardo Pasion, Wilson Ronas, Hitro Sancholes, Kareem Sancholes, Eduardo San Juan, Arnel Soberano and Irvin Tadulan.

It will be recalled that President Arroyo granted clemency to convict Claudio Teehankee Jr. whose release is being disputed and sought to be nullified before the Supreme Court by the Hultmans.

Mrs. Arroyo is topnotcher in granting clemency to detainees among her predecessors as per records faxed to Chief Public Attorney Persida V. Rueda Acosta by Bureau of Corrections director Oscar Calderon.

Acosta bared that about 80 percent of inmates granted clemency belong to the poor sector, and mostly are clients of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

There were about 1,028 convicts saved from death as of 2006 before the abolition of the death sentence in June 24,2006.

There were about 438 70-year-olds and above, who were granted conditional pardon from February, 2005.