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9 pardoned Magdalo officers freed
« on: May 18, 2008, 04:49:02 PM »


NINE mutiny leaders granted pardon by President Arroyo were released yesterday by the Army on the order of a Makati court that handled their coup d’état case.

The nine signed a "Joint Acceptance of Conditional Pardon" before their release, according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner.

The conditions for the pardon are permanent and perpetual disqualification from military service and that "each shall not commit any crime or felony or participate in a coup d’état or other forms of military adventurism," according to General Order No. 10 dated May 12.

The President, who announced the grant of pardon on the same day, said the sentence imposed on them by a Makati court "shall again be in full force and effect" if the officers violate any of the conditions.

Captains Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, two core leaders of the July 2003 Oakwood mutiny, had been sentenced by the Makati court to life imprisonment.

Sentenced to six to 12 years in jail were Captains Albert Baloloy, John Andres, Laurence Luis Somera and Alvin Ebreo, and 1st Lt. Florentino Somera and Cleo Dongga-As and 2Lt. Kristopher Bryan Yasay.

The nine appealed for pardon after their sentences were handed down last month following a change of plea to guilty.

Brawner said the officers underwent medical and physical check-up before they were released from the Army’s Custodial Management Unit in Fort Bonifacio at around 11:30 a.m.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado said he intends to see the officers when they have "settled down."

"They served as my cadets, I trained them so I want to talk to them… they can come to me anytime. We’ll talk and I will also ask them how I could be of help to them," said Ibrado, who assumed the Army’s top post Wednesday.

Consider pleasures as they depart, Not as they come.

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