Parole board takes up PDL release

Published May 15, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

The Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) is set to deliberate on Monday to determine which persons deprived of liberty (PDL) will benefit from the Interim Rules on Parole and Executive Clemency which took effect on Friday, May 15, said Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Markk Perete on Friday.

The DOJ spokesperson said he has no figures yet on how many PDLs will benefit from the interim rules.

Perete said the the list of PDL might be released following the deliberations made by the BPP which is chaired by DOJ Undersecretary Deo Marco.

Amid the clamor to release PDLs due to the threat of the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the DOJ announced last April 23 that Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra approved and signed on April 15 BPP Resolution No. OT-04-15-2020 on the Interim Rules on Parole and Executive Clemency.

The BPP stated the interim rules seek “to expedite the existing process of release of PDLs through parole or executive clemency.”

PDL who are eligible for parole or executive clemency review shall be covered by the interim rules.

Those covered under the interim rules are PDL over 65 years old who have served at least five years of their sentence, or those whose continued imprisonment is inimical to their health as certified by a physician certified by the Department of Health or designated by the Malacanang Clinic Director.

“In the processing of parole or executive clemency review, priority shall be given to PDL who are already of old age, sickly or are suffering from terminal or life-threatening illnesses, or with serious disability,” according to the interim rules.

The rules state that “PDL who have been convicted of heinous crimes or illegal drugs-related offenses or are otherwise classified by the Bureau of Corrections as being ‘high-risk’ are not entitled to be considered for possible release.

The interim rules dispenses with most of the documentary requirements for applications for parole and executive clemency, except for the Court Certifications of No Pending Case and No Pending Appeal and a check on the records of the PDL at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).