MANILA- An elderly jeepney driver who is in jail for joining a protest must face the charges against him "regardless of age," Malacañang said Tuesday in light of calls to release him.
Elmer Cordero, 72, was not allowed to post bail due to a supposed existing estafa case against him. He said the charge was filed against him in 2002 for missing payment for his house rent.
He was arrested last week along with 5 other jeepney drivers for disobedience to authority when they allegedly refused to stop protesting on EDSA for government aid and permission for jeepney drivers to ply the roads.
Jeepneys have been barred from roads since March under quarantine regulations because of the coronavirus outbreak.
"Dadaan po ‘yan sa proseso at dadaan po ‘yan sa piskalya. Kung wala pong ebidensya, madi-dismiss po ‘yung kaso," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
(That will undergo due process and that case will be handled by the fiscal. If there is no evidence, the case will be dismissed.)
"Tingnan po natin 'yan kung may ebidensya," he added.
(Let's see if there is evidence.)
Roque, a lawyer, said old age does not exempt a person from pending charges.
“Titingnan po natin ‘yan kasi regardless of your age, kapag may pending case, kinakailangan harapin 'yung kaso. Magkakaroon lang po ‘yan ng clemency if he is found guilty," he said.
(We'll look into that because regardless of your age, when there is a pending case, you need to face it. There can only be clemency if he is found guilty.)
"Mayroon tayong probisyon that the court can recommend pardon or parole to senior citizens,” he added.
(We have a provision that the court can recommend pardon or parole to senior citizens.)