Artwork by Andy Warhol. Gun. 1981-82. Used here for educational, non-commercial purposes, free service by blog-use of image provided by and from www.allposters.com
The order granting pardon to the nine Magdalo soldiers who have earlier entered a plea of guilt to the crime of coup d ‘etat, has not been written. This time, it is hoped that in order to obviate any ambiguity, the conditional pardon be written in the language of the Revised Penal Code. Interpretation of ambiguities are left entirely to the unilateral interpretation of the pardoning authority. Additional conditions should be clear enough: what rights are withheld; what acts would constitute a violation. Of course, the pardoning authority can add, at the tailend of each clause, the usual catch-all phrases. That is its prerogative. That is the leash. For those espousing what they consider lofty ideals, or who had been misled that they were pursuing noble purposes (depending on how you look at that military adventurism) and convicted of a political crime: the price of accepting pardon from this incumbent, is dignity, it is what she exacts if you are not a rich and powerful convicted personality. In this country, convicted plunderers and rapists are treated far better than rebels. That is the real message. The rebel-prisoner cannot be blamed; a person who is caged like an animal cannot make any choices but freedom.
Here’s the language of the Revised Penal Code on pardon:
Article 36. Pardon; its effect. – A pardon shall not work the restoration of the right to hold public office, or the right of suffrage, unless such rights be expressly restored by the terms of the pardon.
A pardon shall in no case exempt the culprit from the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon him by the sentence.
Article 94. Partial Extinction of criminal liability. – Criminal liability is extinguished partially:
1. By conditional pardon;
Article 95. Obligation incurred by person granted conditional pardon. – Any person who has been granted conditional pardon shall incur the obligation of complying strictly with the conditions imposed therein; otherwise, his non-compliance with any of the conditions specified shall result in the revocation of the pardon and the provisions of article 159 shall be applied to him.
Article 159. Other cases of evasion of service of sentence. – The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon the convict who, having been granted conditional pardon by the Chief Executive, shall violate any of the conditions of such pardon. However, if the penalty remitted by the granting of such pardon be higher than six years, the convict shall then suffer the unexpired portion of his original sentence.