President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed Tuesday night that he had granted actor Robin Padilla full pardon. The announcement came during a dinner with news reporters at Malacanang.
The reason for the executive clemency was that Padilla never hurt anyone with his unlicensed firearm.
“Alam mo yang crime na yan, walang nasaktan [You know, that crime didn’t get anybody hurt] —I mean, if it is a gun, just like a knife or a fork…if it’s sharp it is potentially dangerous. Ilagay mo lang sa lamesa yan hindi mo gagalawin, hindi naman naka-ano na ng tao yan. Hindi naman nangangagat. Hindi naman umuusong mag-isa,” [If you just leave it (the knife) there on a table and never touch it, it won’t hurt anybody. It won’t bite. It won’t move by itself], the president said when asked by a reporter his reason for granting Padilla full pardon.
Duterte further explained:
“Kagaya ng—it is also prohibited to carry a dagger or a knife, and it is unlawful to carry a gun. Pero yung mahulihan sila wala silang sinaksak, wala naman silang binaril—kaya lang nahuli sila na may in possession.” [But if they’re caught (with illegal possession of weapons) but never stabbed or shot anybody—but then the fact is they were caught “in possession.”
A possible reading of what Duterte meant may be that since Padilla never hurt anyone, even though he was caught in possession of an unlicensed gun, it would be easier for him as president to grant full pardon. It was a minor crime.
Duterte also explained why he had to grant full pardon even if Padilla was already granted pardon in the past.
“I just granted pardon in favor of Robin Padilla kasi yung original pardon niya hindi sinabi yung [because the original pardon he got didn’t specify the] full restoration ng [of his] political and civil rights. Therefore, he could not travel, he could not get a permit…to possess a gun again. I really do not know the dimension of what is meant by deprivation of political and human rights. But one thing is that you cannot vote, you cannot travel and therefore he could not be issued a passport,” Duterte said.
“Basta yung pardon ko is full restoration of his civil and political rights,” [For my part, I’m giving him full restoration of his civil and political rights], Duterte added.
Padilla was apprehended for illegal possession of firearms and convicted in 1994. However, President Fidel Ramos pardoned him in 1997 and was released from jail. However, the pardon given was not absolute.
With Duterte’s full pardon, Padilla can again exercise his right to vote, seek public office, be issued a Philippine passport and travel abroad, among other things.
Sources: (twitter.com, newsinfo.inquirer.net)