MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday announced new rules expediting the processing of applications for parole and executive clemency.
Justice Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk Perete, in a media statement, said Secretary Menardo Guevarra approved the resolution by the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP), which simplifies the requirements and procedure for the processing of applications by dispensing most of the documentary requirements for applications for parole and executive clemency.
“The general requirements for eligibility for parole remains. But those who are not eligible may apply for clemency if they meet the criteria set under the resolution. Note also that the part of the resolution allowing applications by those 65 (years old) and above with the conditions stated is new. So this is not just easing of the process but to some extent, relaxation of the rules,” Perete said.
The new rules still require court certifications of No Pending Case and No Pending Appeal and a check on the records of the person deprived of liberty (PDL) at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The BPP has been required to double the number of its caseload for review and deliberation during its meetings to expedite the processing of applications.
It also removed the requirement for parolees and pardonees to report to parole and probation officers while the state of public health emergency due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic remains in effect.
The simplified requirements and procedures will apply to applications of PDLs qualified for parole or clemency.
They will also cover applications for executive clemency of those who are over 65 years old who have served at least five years of their sentence, or of those whose continued imprisonment is inimical to their health as certified by a physician certified the Department of Health or designated by the Malacañang Clinic Director.
The resolution, however, excludes from its coverage PDLs convicted of heinous crimes or in cases involving illegal drugs, or those classified as high risk by the Bureau of Corrections. (PNA)