Palace: Premature to talk about Duterte granting pardon to Imelda Marcos
Malacanang said on Sunday that the possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte granting a pardon to convicted Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos was premature.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said if Duterte would grant any pardon, he would consider all factors.
"Analysts from some sectors have raised the concern of the possibility of the President granting pardon to former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos following the decision of the Sandiganbayan. Such issue not only is speculative but premature as well," he said.
The Sandiganbayan 5th Division has convicted Imelda for seven counts of graft during the dictatorship of her husband Ferdinand Marcos for using her various posts in government to maintain Swiss bank accounts.
Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel, said that Duterte has the constitutional authority to grant pardon to persons convicted by final judgement.
In the case of Imelda, he said the decision of the anti-graft court has not been final yet.
He noted that Imelda's lawyers have stated that she would avail of legal remedies available to her to reverse the decision from the same court or higher courts.
Panelo also said that Duterte would consider the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Parole, an office under the Department of Justice, in granting pardon to convicts.
The BPP looks into the records and studies the circumstances of the convicted person in order to evaluate his eligibility and entitlement of the President's act of grace.
"As matter of course and policy, the President like his predecessors, weighs in all factors before exercising his right to grant clemencies," he said.
Left-leaning Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino raised concern that Duterte might pardon Imelda, 89, citing her old age.
Duterte is also a known ally of the Marcoses. He said before that he would rather have defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to be his successor than Vice President Leni Robredo.
Duterte also allowed Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani shortly after he assumed the presidency in 2016. Celerina Monte/DMS