I do not know if Sen. Francis Escudero deserves to be elected Vice President.
But, if Escudero’s topping the latest surveys of preferred vice presidential candidate means that he is worthy of the position compared to the rest, then his concern for other people’s welfare and well-being signifies even more the importance of his winning, while his rivals, are busy endorsing their own candidacy.
I am not a supporter of Escudero, but I applaud and commend his out of the box idea and approach as a vice presidential candidate in urging President Aquino to grant clemency to elderly and terminal ill inmates now languishing in various jails this Christmas for humanitarian reasons.
“These people should be treated with compassion, just like any other citizen of the country who needs special attention,” Escudero pointed out. “I believe it is only fair and just to grant them clemency and let them spend Christmas with their families.”
He added: “Staying in our overcrowded jails will only aggravate the poor situation of the senior citizens and those under critical health conditions.”
I could not agree more with Escudero as he rises to the occasion and calls for mercy and compassion for the prisoners he is referring to.
Executive clemency refers to “reprieve, absolute pardon, conditional pardon with or without parole conditions, and commutation of sentence as may be granted by the President of the Philippines.”
More than alleviating the conditions of overcrowded jails, it will also be more beneficial for both the institution and the elderly and sickly inmates, who have served enough of their sentence, to be freed and sent home.
While on one hand it will save the institution a large amount of money for food and medicine for someone who, perhaps, has made peace with his or her God already and is a better person now, on the other hand, it will allow the aging prisoner to spend the remaining years of his or her life in the loving care of his or her anxiously waiting family.
I can only hope and pray that President Aquino will act on the benevolent advice of Escudero and won’t put any political malice to it.