Wednesday, November 23, 2005  

Chiong not surprised by. reports GMA will save... Paco from death

      Thelma Chiong is not worried that President Arroyo is not keen on implementing the death penalty on the men believed to have killed her two daughters. 

      She said she knows Arroyo is “pro-life.”

      Chiong was reacting to a story posted on thinkspain.com, where Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono said Arroyo promised him that Francisco Juan “Paco” Larrañaga will not be executed.

      “She has promised me that while she is president, the execution will not take place, and secondly, that she will do everything she can to try and help him,” Bono was quoted as saying during a press conference yesterday, following a meeting with Arroyo.

Nothing new
      But Chiong said there’s nothing new to that, since she knows Arroyo is not an advocate of the death penalty. Chiong noted that there has been no execution so far during her term.

      After two meetings with the President, Chiong said Arroyo never changed her stand on the issue. She met Arroyo during a visit of her group Crusade Against Violence in Malacañang and during the wake of slain lawyer Arbet Sta. Ana-Yongco.

      Chiong said she asked Arroyo if the death sentence for Larrañaga and four others for the murder of her daughters Jacqueline and Marijoy will be implemented.

      “I am not afraid even if he uses the name of Gloria (Arroyo) because I already know that she is pro-life, it’s not even just Paco” she told Sun.Star Cebu. She said the Larrañaga camp should not use the name of the President.

       “They are name-dropping just to save Paco,” Chiong said.

On the phone
     
The Internet story also reported that Bono broke the news to Paco’s parents on the phone from Arroyo’s office.

      Last July, the Supreme Court en banc affirmed a ruling imposing the maximum penalty of death on Larrañaga, Josman Aznar, Rowen Adlawan, Alberto Caño and Ariel Balansag. It deferred the ruling on James Andrew Uy pending the verification of his age.

      Yu’s younger brother, James Anthony, was sentenced to life imprisonment after the court found he was still a minor at the time of the crime last July 16, 1997. (JGA)

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