Police Arrest Ex-Lawmaker After Daring Prison WalkoutDecember 23, 2007 at 2:42 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Dec. 23, 2007) – Police rearrested a former Filipino lawmaker who walked out of prison in Manila and flew by plane to his hometown in Zamboanga del Norte province.
Former Representative Romeo Jalosjos, convicted to serve two life terms for raping an 11-year girl, was granted executive clemency by President Gloria Arroyo after serving 13 years in prison.
But Arroyo’s decision drew wild protests and human rights advocates and women’s groups have criticized her for commuting Jalosjos’ double-life sentence, saying, the politician should have not been freed from jail. And government now wanted him back in jail.
Jalosjos was first released on Dec. 16 from the national penitentiary in Manila and even attended a mass with family members. But he was forced to return the next day after the Philippine media reported about his release.
On Saturday, Jalosjos arrived in Dapitan City where hundreds of supporters welcomed him like a hero. They also threw a party for Jalosjos, once an influential politician politician in the province.
Policemen escorted Jalosjos on Sunday to Zamboanga City where he would probably stay at the San Ramon Penal Colony unbtil his case is finally resolved. Jalosjos insisted he is a free man and his supporters blamed politics for the fiasco.
“He is freed. He is a free man. Leave him alone. This is all politics,” said Juanito San Diego, a supporter of Jalosjos.
Jalosjos is said to be eyeing this early to run for Congress again in the 2010 national elections. But with this latest development, his political plan may be at risk.
It was unknown why was Jalosjos allowed to leave the penintentiary despite a strict order from the government to hold him.
Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales has also ordered an investigation into this. It is up to Gonzales whether to bring back Jalosjos to Manila or let him stay in Zamboanga City, just several hundred miles away from Zamboanga del Norte province. (Mindanao Examiner)