Parole board officials were GMA's men - de Lima
MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told President Aquino it’s about time to review the composition of the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP), which earlier granted the parole to former Batangas Governor Jose Antonio Leviste.
She told reporters the appointment of BPP acting chair Natividad Dizon and the others were by virtue of executive orders issued by the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo.
De Lima said she, as Justice chief, or her duly appointed representative, should head the board.
“My position there is that a law (Administrative Code) cannot just be amended by an EO since the executive has no legislative power,” she said.
“It’s time to review the composition of BPP,” she said.
Meanwhile, de Lima also reiterated the power of the President to intervene in the decisions of the BPP even if the latter’s approval is not needed in the granting of paroles.
“The President can intervene or act either to affirm or reverse grant of parole of BPP. And remember, he is head of executive branch so all executive offices are under his control and supervision,” she said, citing the Indeterminate Sentence Law.
Her legal opinion on the matter also contained the validity of Leviste’s parole, but decided not to disclose it out of respect to Aquino.
“The decision here lies in the President. There are only two choices here – either revoke or affirm,” she added.
De Lima did a 360 degree turn on her opinion. She earlier said BPP’s decision on Leviste was “aboveboard.”