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Monday, October 13, 2008

Some people just don't do their jobs right!

When Jesus Christ faced Pontius Pilate, the latter, thinking that he saw that Christ was not really a dangerous man, offered to the public the release of either Christ or Barabbas, who according to Matthew was a notorius criminal as part of a Passover custom. Much to Pilate's surprise and regret, the public chose Barabbas over Christ (I was about to say Jesus but I just found out that Barabbas' first name was also Jesus) thus making him a free man once again. What this simply means is that an executive's power to grant pardon to a criminal has been in practice since Roman times.

A week has passed and still talk about the release of condemned Claudio Teehankee, Jr. who was found guilty for the slaying of 16 year old Maureen Hultman and John Chapman is still hot news. Why not? It is as controversial and as dubious as can be. The circumstances of his release caught everyone by surprise. The victims' families were not consulted nor were they informed that the government was releasing their children's exterminator. True to form, the equally controversial Gonzales, defending the President, says: "(she) does not owe anyone any explanation or advance notice" practically implying that the power is absolute. She can give it at will. There lies the difference with Roman law. Pilate had to ask the people directly who they wanted to forgive. Teehankee's pardon was said to have undergone review by a committee. And yet, Gonzales was said to have admitted talking to brother Manuel saying "Three weeks ago bago umalis iyan (Manuel)...umalis sa Switzerland, dumaan sa office ko, hopefully sabi niya baka sakaling mapalaya ang kapatid niya (Three weeks ago, before leaving for Switzerland, Teehankee's brother went to my office and said hopefully I can facilitate his brother's release)." Does this in any way say that it was a committee who has recommended pardon?

I am not totally against presidential pardon. This is if the spirit of the power to give it is justified. After all, the point behind putting men behind bars is not really to avenge but to give him time to think about what he has done, suffer the consequences of his actions and repent. When these have been met, and the person, after a good showing of good behavior, can be given back his freedom. Why deprive him of his liberty until death? This brings to the question of the release of Teehankee. Has he shown repentance? Has he paid his dues to society? I don't think so. Being confined in prison with all the amenities of a luxurious life, or so it seems, is not penance. It is a long vacation. Teehankee was condemned to serve two life terms. He has only completed 14 years in prison living in a "rich man's kubol, "a special quarters built by ex-congressman Jalosjos... (that)features a queen-size bed, a refrigerator, a private bathroom with hot and cold water and, not least, a 42-inch LCD television set with cable service." Sheesh, I don't even have a queen-size bed!

AS De Quiros points out in his column, "the murder took place as a result of a "power trip"...the shooter wanting to prove to the world and himself he was in command, he was in charge, he was the man." Now, come to think about it, most of the prisoners in Muntinlupa live miserably in their hell holes. Teehankee did not. With his release, thanks to the president, he just affirmed this belief that he has done away with murder.

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17 Comments:

Blogger Panaderos said...

Gonzales's statement was the height of arrogance for it seems that the President is not accountable to anyone. This guy has obviously outlived his usefulness and intelligence. It's such a shame and a negative reflection on the President that this idiot Gonzales is still a part of her administration.

3:24 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

panaderos It is only the president who knows why he is istll there.

3:07 PM  
Blogger BlogusVox said...

Tama si baker, wala ng sinabing maganda ang matandang utot na yan. As for that criminal, some lawyer said in MLQ3's blog that the dwarf in malacanyang can't refuse his brother's (Manuel) request. It has something to do with what Manuel did for her back in 2004 that obligate her to reciprocate the favor. Wala talagang delicadeza ang mga taong ito!

3:30 PM  
Blogger cathy said...

titorolly,
sino naman kaya ang palalabasin nilang high profile inmates.

SO irritated by Gonzales statements especially which said about the awarding of the damages in the civil case.

Parang akala niya hindi nakakaintindi ang tao. Syempre pag nanalo sa civil case, babayaran ang mga moral damages but it does not necessarily follow that the inmate is entitled of parole for a crime which was indicted in a criminal case.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Louie said...

A pardon is indeed the prerogative of the president but it is so disappointing (disgusting actually) when it is used in this manner. An abuse of power!

But bad enough as it is, here comes Mr. Gonzales even making things worse. This old fool seems to have the propensity to rub salt into our wounds!

I dread to think how Maureen's parents feel nowadays.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous bugsybee said...

Ooops. Sorry, Tito Rolly ... nanghihiram lang ako ng computer kasi. That should have been from me - Bugsybee. :P

11:30 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

blogusvox Have not heard of that story but it can be true. Maraming pabor na babayaran si GMA, patay tayo!

cathy Alam ko rin, hiwalay ang civil sa criminal case. Ang sabi naman ata niya eh since the Hultman's accepted the civil award, they knew that an appeal for pardon was forthcoming. Syempre, hindi rin naman ibig sabihin non e they would consent to a pardon.

bugsy I'm sure they are not pleased!

3:23 PM  
Blogger ipanema said...

this is very disappointing act on the President. i just can't take ti that a murderer runs free just because of his high profile. what about those rotting in jail for the same crime? :(

7:59 PM  
Blogger Mec said...

Teehankee did not, indeed. I believe it was even reported that he even had a plasma or LCD TV inside his pad, err, cell...

8:52 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

t*ngin$%@ talaga.

yung current entry kong "indios bravos" tungkol sa pinoy pride at assimilation sa amerika ay nasulat ko dahil sa balitang ito. well, isa ito sa mga dahilan.

habang tumatagal kasi na narito kami sa amerika at nakikita ko yung quality of life ng mga taga rito, lalo na yung tungkol sa equal opportunity, equal playing field at justice, parang ayaw mo nang umuwi dahil ang aabutan mo ay corruption, favoritism at disregard sa batas.

masakit sa akin dahil mahal na mahal ko ang pilipinas.

5:30 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

minsan tuloy, lalo na pag nasasaniban ako ng demonyo, gusto kong isipin kung ano ang gagawin ni gonzales kung yung anak niyang babae ang binaril.

o kaya kung yung anak ni arroyo ang ginahasa.

5:31 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

ipanema oo nga eh. I don't think he has really paid his dues yet. Well, having your freedom cut off is surely punishment but thinking that others like him who are not as influential has to do it more and considering the sorry plight they are in, I don't think what he has undergone the full force of the law.

mec Para ngang me kasama ata sa kubol ang isang plasma tv

batjay ganun ata talaga buhay eh. Pag me pera ka, me konting perks maski makulong

11:16 AM  
Blogger bayi said...

Obviously too much unilateral power vested in a person is not a good option. More so, when the person is not consultative.

GMA, just like her predecessor, is controversial in many of her decisions. She is no better.

6:58 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi More likely not.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

teka mukhang magandang pakikipag talastasan dito ah...pabor ako kay panaderos!

8:06 PM  
Blogger Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

baka naman nagpapataas lang ng ihi si gonzales,pagbigyan nyo na may balisawsaw ata eh.

8:07 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

everlito baka!

11:02 PM  

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MGA TURO NI TITO:
Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
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