A lawyers' group is taking the Arroyo administration to task for its apparent bias towards convicts especially "the rich and powerful." Marlon Manuel, head of the Alternative Law Group was quoted by GMA News as saying, "While legally, we cannot question the decision since it is based on a treaty, we can see here a series of unjust exercise of President Arroyo's mercy in favor of prominent persons and members of powerful families." This is the link to that GMA News article.
The furor has been triggered by the latest such perceived instance of bias, the case involving the transfer of rape with homicide convict Paco Larrañaga to a Spanish prison by virtue of a treaty, Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreement, which allows the transfer of imprisoned persons from Spain to the Philippines and vice-versa. Larrañaga holds dual Spanish-Filipino citizenship.
Francisco Juan "Paco" Larrañaga is one of seven persons convicted in the abduction, rape and homicide of the sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong in Cebu City on July 16, 1997.
DOJ Secretary Agnes Devanadera has approved the transfer while Malacañang has washed its hands off the case. Meanwhile, Mrs. Thelma Chiong, mother of the victims say that they know nothing and were never notified beforehand of the transfer arrangement.
More on this story in this GMA News flash report by Tina Panganiban-Perez: