By Elena Aben and MB Online
Christmas came early for actor Robin Padilla not just for being a father anew; he was granted absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, November 15.
The absolute pardon reinstates the actor’s full civil and political rights, which means he may now exercise his right to vote and also run or appointed for public office.
The actor, born Robinhood Ferdinand Cariño Padilla, paid a courtesy call to the president in Malacañang, accompanied by his sister, Rema Padilla-Ohno.
It was during his meeting with Duterte at the study room of the palace that Padilla was handed his executive clemency papers.
“I just granted a pardon in favor of Robin Padilla kasi iyong original pardon niya hindi sinali iyong full restoration of political and civil rights, therefore he could not travel, he could not get a permit, whatever it is to possess a gun again,” Duterte told reporters.
“I really do not know the dimensions of what is meant by the deprivation of political and civil rights. But one thing is that he could not vote, he cannot travel because he could not be issued a passport.”
Padilla was unable to travel to the United States, where his wife Mariel Rodriguez gave birth to the couple’s first daughter Isabella on November 14. He had to make do with a video call with Mariel.
The actor expressed his gratitude to Duterte, who in turn expressed his appreciation on the gesture of respect shown by the actor.
The granting of the clemency to the actor was based on the recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) under the Department of Justice (DoJ).
Padilla was convicted by the Angeles City regional trial court in 1994 for illegal possession of high-powered firearms. He was meted up to 21 years in jail.
After serving three years of his sentence at the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City, then President Fidel Ramos in 1997 gave him conditional pardon that expired in 2003.
The actor was one of 87 convicts whose cases were reviewed by the BPP for the possible grant of executive clemency by Duterte.
Article VII Section 19 of the Constitution says that “Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment.”