By Genalyn Kabiling
The possibility of President Duterte granting pardon to newly convicted Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos was still speculative and premature, Malacañang said Sunday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President could grant pardon to persons convicted by final judgment, adding that Marcos was still expected to appeal the recent decision of the anti-graft court.
The Sandiganbayan recently convicted Marcos seven counts of graft and sentenced to a maximum of 11 years in prison for each count. The case stemmed from complaints that she was keeping Swiss accounts as a cabinet member during her husband’s rule.
“Analysts from some sectors have raised the concern of the possibility of the President granting pardon to former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte second district Rep. Imelda Marcos following the decision of the Sandiganbayan. Such issue not only is speculative but premature as well,” Panelo said.
“The President has the constitutional authority to grant pardon to persons convicted by final judgment. It is not so in the case of Congresswoman Marcos, the decision of the anti-graft court not having attained finality. Her lawyers have stated the she will avail of legal remedies available to her to reverse the decision from the same court or higher courts,” he said.
Panelo said in granting pardon to convicts, the President would consider the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP), an office under the Department of Justice (DOJ),
He noted that the BPP looks into the records and studies the circumstances of the person to evaluate eligibility and entitlement of “the President’s act of grace.”
“As matter of course and policy, the President like his predecessors, weighs in all factors before exercising his right to grant clemencies,” he said.