Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Executive Clemency for Claudio Teehankee Jr.

Although executive clemency is an absolute power vested to PGMA, its grant over convicted murderer Claudio Teehankee Jr. came out in question. There are many questions and protests especially from the families of the victims who vehemently condemned PGMA’s decision.

Claudio Teehankee Jr. was convicted for the cold-blooded murder of teenagers Roland John Chapman and Swedish-Filipino Maureen Hultman in 1991. A third victim, Jussi Leino, was wounded in the attack. He was sentenced to one count of reclusion perpetua and one count of reclusion temporal, which has an equivalent of up to 60 years of imprisonment. After serving at least 14 years in jail through PGMA’s commutation of his sentence Teehankee Jr. is a free man again.

For the Teehankee family it is indeed good news but definitely a nightmare for the families of the victims. The decision adds on the pain of the past that wasn’t being healed yet. Though the power was absolute, amidst of all the questions and protests “laying down the cards on the table” is indispensable to at peace the minds of the many and to prove that due process was done.


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