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Leviste’s freedom irks PNoy



Manila, Philippines – The freedom of former Batangas Gov. Antonio Leviste may be short-lived.

President Aquino has expressed dismay with the parole given to the convicted killer and immediately ordered the Department of Justice (DoJ) to probe the process involved.

“The President said, I am not happy with the decision and I’m having the whole matter investigated,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Coloma admitted that the President only learned about the parole of Leviste in the newspapers. “He wanted to know the whole background how the decision was made,” the Palace official added in Filipino.

Leviste was released from the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City last Friday after being granted parole along with 34 other inmates.

The 73-year-old Leviste, who was convicted for killing his former aide in 2009, obtained freedom after being able to serve the minimum required sentence. The penalty was six years minimum to 12 years maximum.

Leviste’s old age was also considered in the Christmas parole by the Pardon and Parole Administration.

Asked if the government would cancel the parole granted to Leviste despite supposedly meeting the requirements, Coloma said: “That’s why the President ordered an investigation into the matter. He was not really happy with it.”

Prior to the President’s statement, Malacañang defended that the parole given to Leviste was in accordance with the law. Even Justice Secretary Leila M. de Lima claimed that the family of the victim did not object to Leviste’s parole application.