Kiko Pangilinan to Malacanang: System is flawed; recall Manalili’s clemency
June 4, 2009
Independent Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan is displeased with the Board of Pardons’ testimony on a Senate Hearing regarding the granting of clemency to Roberto Manalili, convicted mastermind in the murder of Ana Lourdes Castanos and Ernesto Bernabe II.
“These are two gruesome murders. The board recommended clemency without interviewing the applicant, relying only on the recommendations of investigators. Essentially, what they’re saying is that clemency is granted based on the recommendation of yet another recommendation. This is totally unacceptable,” Pangilinan says.
The board also admitted that they failed to exhaust efforts in locating the addresses of the heirs of the victims, as required by Amended Guidelines of the Board of Pardons. The board said this was due to limited resources, adding that the publication of Manalili’s name in the Philippine Star was enough to serve as ‘notice to the whole world.’
“I find it absurd that in this day and age of the internet and other efficient means of communication, finding family members of such a high profile case would be difficult to do regardless of the resources available to the board. For three years they failed to find family members who would have definitely opposed the granting of clemency had they known about the board’s intention. It’s fairly obvious that the system of granting clemency is flawed. We cannot tolerate this. There should be an overhaul of the system. If the board doesn’t do face-to-face interviews of these applicants, many of whom are convicted of heinous crimes, and relying simply on recommendations of investigators, then unless the system is changed, we might as well abolish the board and just have the investigators recommend directly to Malacañang.”