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Ermita: ‘No need to appease Hultmans’

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Insists killer’s pardon unopposed by victim’s kin

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:03:00 10/08/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang maintained Wednesday that the family of murdered teenager Maureen Hultman had not opposed the possible pardon of the convicted killer.

At the same time, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said there is no need to appease the Hultman family, since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not duty-bound to inform them of her final decision to grant executive clemency to Claudio Teehankee Jr.

Ermita distributed to reporters a copy of a civil settlement agreement between the Hultmans and Teehankee, dated November 11, 1999.

Paragraph nine of the agreement reads: “The Hultmans, through their duly-authorized representative herein, will not object nor interpose any opposition to the application for such parole or the commutation or shortening of the sentence of Claudio Teehankee Jr. or to such other similar proceedings or reliefs provided that the same shall be in accordance of law.”

In the same settlement, the Teehankees agreed to pay the Hultmans P6,964,504.40 and one of their houses.

The signatories to the settlement include Maureen’s stepfather, Anders Hultman, who also signed for her mother, Vivian, and members of the Teehankee family.

“I don’t see why anybody would say they were not asked, when they signed,” Ermita said.

In a television interview Tuesday evening, Anders Hultman said their family was not informed of the grant of executive clemency for Teehankee. He said the Hultman family was “very angry” and “sad” about the development.

“I cannot blame them for feeling bad, but the fact remains [that] the Hultmans signed the settlement agreement,” Ermita said.

“I don’t see why the government has to reach out to them, aaluin pa namin [appease them]. I don’t think that is necessary,” he said, adding, “There is nothing in the guidelines that says that after the President signs the clemency, they will have to be informed.”

Citing government records, Ermita said when Teehankee applied for executive clemency on December 22, 2003, and on January 28, 2004, notices were sent to the Hultmans and the judge that decided on the case.

On February 6, 2004, a notice was published in a nationally circulated newspaper informing the public that Teehankee and 13 others were seeking clemency and that objections must be sent within 30 days from publication, Ermita said.

The Hultmans did not reply to both the written notice and the newspaper announcement, Ermita said.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-10-08T09:29:35+00:00UTC10bUTCWed, 08 Oct 2008 09:29:35 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

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