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Lawyer Disagrees Claudio Teehankee's Pardon
« on: October 16, 2008, 07:28:25 PM »
By Mike Frialde 
Philippine Star

One of the private lawyers who helped prosecute convicted murderer Claudio Teehankee Jr. yesterday asked the Supreme Court to nullify the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) on the latter’s commutation of sentence and the subsequent grant of executive clemency.

In his 84-page petition for certiorari, lawyer Ernesto Francisco argued that the commutation of Teehankee’s jail sentence and the subsequent grant of executive clemency violated the Constitution.

Named as respondents in the petition were Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, who is also BPP chairman; the Board of Pardons and Parole; Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and Teehankee.

Francisco said Gonzalez and the BPP committed grave abuse of discretion when they recommended the grant of executive clemency and commutation of sentence despite the fact that Teehankee was not qualified.

He said none of the extraordinary circumstances mentioned in the amended guidelines for recommending executive clemency were present in Teehankee’s case.

Among the circumstances, according to Francisco, are when the prisoner has reached 70 years old and his continued imprisonment is inimical to his health, when the prisoner suffers from a life-threatening illness, and when the penalty imposed on the prisoner is too harsh compared to the crime committed.

Francisco also argued that Teehankee was granted executive clemency despite his alleged failure to settle the civil aspect of his case.

He said Teehankee has failed to settle his P2.5 million civil liability with the Chapman family and P4 million and $55,600 with the Leino family.

In his pleading, Francisco asked the Court to issue a preliminary injunction and order the BuCor to immediately retake custody of Teehankee pending resolution of his petition.

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