Saturday, April 9, 2011

‘Abadilla 5’ now seek pardon -, Philippine News for Filipinos

‘Abadilla 5’ now seek pardon -, Philippine News for Filipinos

‘Abadilla 5’ now seek pardon

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Filed Under: Crime and Law and Justice

File photo source: AHRC
MANILA, Philippines—They are no longer interested in seeking justice, in being declared innocent of a decade-old crime they claim they did not commit.

The five men convicted of the murder of the Marcos-era intelligence officer Rolando Abadilla just want their freedom, by way of a presidential pardon.

Thursday, the families of Leonido Lumanog, Joel de Jesus, Cezar Fortuna, Agusto Santos, and Rameses de Jesus—collectively known as the Abadilla 5—brought their handwritten letter to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima asking her to intervene with President Aquino.

In the letter, written in Filipino, the five stated the following: They have been incarcerated in the Muntinlupa maximum detention jail for 15 years for a crime they did not commit. They know they cannot get any justice anymore because on Feb. 8, 2011, the Supreme Court upheld their conviction with finality. The whole world knows they did not do any wrong because the Alex Boncayao Brigade communist hit squad has come forward and owned up to having killed Abadilla.

“Madam, we are now asking you and appealing to your good heart to help us attain freedom through a presidential clemency. You are our only hope so that we could be freed and be with our families once again,” they told De Lima.

The letter was handcarried to De Lima’s office by Malou, Lumanog’s wife; Cherilyn, De Jesus’ wife; Santos’ 68-year-old grandmother, Lolita San Felipe; and activist priest Robert Reyes.

“This is their only hope... They will no longer fight for their case. Even if we want justice, we just cannot match the influence of Abadilla on the judges,” said Malou.

The Supreme Court denied the Abadilla 5’s motion for reconsideration, appealing the ruling that upheld their conviction.

Abadilla, known to have been one of the most notorious police officials of the Marcos regime, was ambushed in Quezon City in June 1996.
Nikko Dizon

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