MANILA - Actor Robin Padilla was granted absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte following their meeting at Malacañang Palace on Tuesday.
The pardon restores Padilla's civil and political rights, which may enable him to get a US visa so he can be with his wife and newborn child.
"He has suffered enough, I think. Kung bitawan mo naman iyong tao sa labas, give him the rights --makaboto, maka-travel, whatever," Duterte told reporters.
Padilla, a staunch supporter of Duterte, was convicted of illegal possession of firearms in 1994. He was released after being granted conditional pardon by former President Fidel Ramos three years later.
According to Duterte, he did not see any malicious intent in Padilla when he was caught with guns.
Television host-actress Mariel Rodriguez, Padilla's wife, on Monday gave birth to a baby girl in the United States. It is the couple's first child since getting married back in 2010 in India. Padilla was unable to travel to the U.S. after failing to secure a visa.
Rodriguez first confirmed her pregnancy in May, eight months after suffering her second miscarriage. She flew to the US in September to receive extra care during her delicate pregnancy.