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Paco Larrañaga to seek clemency from Duterte, says attorney

Paco Larrañaga's camp plans to seek executive clemency from President Rodrigo Duterte for Larrañaga and six others convicted in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Jacqueline and Marijoy Chiong in Cebu City in 1997.

"There is a legal remedy and the legal remedy is a pardon from the President. Nandoon na tayo, if the president extends pardon that undoes everything," attorney Sandy Coronel said in a forum on Sunday.

"Meron tayong constant na petition with the Office of the President. Ito ay fina-file with the Boards of Pardon and Parole tapos ine-endorse ng Board sa Presidente," she added.

Coronel said that they will include online petitions to free Larrañaga in their request.

"[O]nce we update the petition, we will include the public clamor as initiated na hindi pamilya eh, no. Talagang the public is initiating this call for... ang tawag sa kanya ay clemency. So ang Presidente, may poder na mag-issue ng clemency. 'Yan ang pinu-push natin ngayon," she added.

There has been an outrage from the public after the 2011 documentary "Give Up Tomorrow" recently resurfaced online. The film argues that Larrañaga and the six others received unjust treatment and were wrongly convicted for the crime.

According to Coronel, a re-trial of the case would be arduous.

"Hindi tayo kailangan magtawag ng re-trial kasi napakahirap ng re-trial eh. Unang-una 'yung mga testigo, maraming magbabago ,saka kailangan natin iuwi si Paco para mag-hearing ulit. Siyempre kung trial 'yan di natin alam kung gaano katagal," Coronel said.

"The real remedy is with the Office of the President," she added.

Larrañaga, a great-grandson of President Sergio Osmeña, has been serving his sentence in Spain.

He has maintained his innocence, saying that he was not in Cebu City when the crime took place.

Witnesses had said Larrañaga was with them in Quezon City when the Chiong sisters were murdered. However, the testimonies of the witnesses were not accepted by the court. — BM, GMA News