Press Release
November 23, 2007


"I support the sentiment and position taken by my colleague, Senator Noynoy Aquino that the act of pardon to M/Sgt Pablo Martinez is an affront to criminal justice.

"While we respect the President's prerogative to pardon inmates 70 years old and above, it sends confusing signals to the people for government to honor the 1986 EDSA revolution spawned by the martyrdom of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., while granting liberty to one of those who murdered him.

"Martinez admitted that he helped Rolando Galman enter the airport tarmac on that fateful day when Ninoy died. Even his fellow inmates point to him as the one most knowledgeable about the plot to assassinate Ninoy Aquino. His role in the killing of one of the country's heroes is undeniable.

"The full retribution of society is called for one of the most heinous crimes of the last century. The justification of old age to accord clemency simply cannot hold in this case.

"I supported the pardon granted to former President Estrada, but I totally disagree with this one. Plunder can be repaid in cash and lifetime political stigma, the murder of a national hero must not be so easily forgiven.

"The timing of this pardon is also questionable. It comes a few days before Ninoy's birthday. It betrays insensitivity, if not a certain degree of callousness, on the part of the administration."

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