Hultman, Teehankee and the Big Bad Arroyo

"...Hultman was returning home from a party with her two companions when Teehankee confronted them on Campanilla Street.

When Chapman asked Teehankee why he was bothering them, the latter pushed him, drew out his gun, and shot Chapman in cold blood, according to the records.

“Why did you shoot me?” the staggering Chapman said before crumpling to the ground.

Then, according to the records, Teehankee ordered the now hysterical Hultman and Leino to sit together on the sidewalk. “While seated, unarmed and begging for mercy, the two were gunned down by [Teehankee].”

Teehankee drove away in a car after the shooting.

Leino was one of three witnesses who later identified Teehankee as the gunman." (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The Supreme Court of the Philippines on October 6, 1995 found Teehankee, Jr. guilty of the murders of Roland John Chap­man and Maureen Hultman and sentenced to one count of reclusión perpetua and two counts of reclusión temporal.

After only 13 years in prison, Teehankee, Jr. son of the late former Chief Justice Claudio Tehankee, Sr. and brother of former Justice Undersecretary, now Ambassador to the WTO, Manuel Tehankee was granted executive clemency and was released on Wednesday, October 7th 2008. The perpetrator of one the most heinous crimes in Philippine history, who is neither remorseful or rehabilitated, was sent back to join the flock of Philippine society under the blessing of the President herself.

I still remember reading about the Hultman murder case from the Free Press magazine that we subscribed to when I was a kid. It was then that I was convinced that some crimes deserve the death penalty, if only to instill fear to the would-be perpetrators who act without even an ounce of trepidation for such heinous acts. There was no motivation for the Hultman murder. There was no provocation either. Here is a man who one day thought that he would play God and claim the lives of innocent kids and murder them in cold blood.

Here is a man who spent 13+ years in the National Bilibid Prison in an extended holiday as he was not subjected to what a regular convicted prisoner is subjected to. Being a well connected and rich son of a former Justice Secretary, he had all the VIP privileges of a hotel guest. This privilege is shared by former President and ex-con Joseph Estrada, child rapist Romeo Jalosjos and some other well-off/well-connected prisoners that I have personally visited in their so-called prison that would shame an average household.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales said, "The executive clemency, we cannot question that. That’s a constitutional power vested on the President”. Well how convenient. I guess we can all sleep soundly now and forget the fact that the revised guideline adopted by the Bureau of Pardons and Parole in March 2006 states that those meted with a life sentence may only be considered for parole if they are 70 years old above and if terminally ill. Teehankee is only 62 and in perfect health.

At a time when Gloria Arroyo's reign in power is at an irreparable low, she may be trading favors for the few supporters that she has left. But to let out a cold-blooded murderer who at best, suffered the inconvenience of not being able to freely stroll the streets of Dasma Village whenever he wanted (as I'm sure he was able to go out discreetly) caps whatever scandals of corruption and cheating that she has involved herself in. This is an act of complete and utter disregard of the safety of the citizenry and a blatant disdain of the country's laws and the justice system. If matters of wealth hoarding and barefaced cheating can be overlooked, political canoodling with murderers is an all new low that should should be condemned and never forgotten.

Check related articles here from ABS-CBN.COM.

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