ABS-CBNNews.com reports that President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has pardoned Robert Burton, a British national who was convicted for drug trafficking in 1993. Burton had attemoted to smuggle around 12 pounds (or 5.6 kilograms) of marijuana out of the Philippines.
The report quoted Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, who revealed that the president signed the order for Burton’s conditional pardon on December 21. According to the report, "the reason for the conditional pardon was not specified. " Some reports claim that Burton’s health is deteriorating.
SPOT.ph found a court record that indicates Burton’s arms are deformed, as his mother reportedly took the drug Thalidomide when she was pregnant with him.
The ABS-CBNNews.com article went on to enumerate the conditions laid out for Burton's pardon are as follows:
1. That he shall pay a fine of P20,000.00, imposed upon him by the Pasay RTC;
2.That he shall voluntary agree to be deported and never to return to the Philippines, "he being an undesirable alien";
3. That upon release from the National Penitentiary he shall be turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Immigration for proper disposition; and
4. That he shall shoulder all the transportation expenses incurred in his trip and must take the first available means of transportation to Rufforth, Yorkshire, England.
For more on this story log on to ABS-CBNNews.com or check the "People of the Philippines vs. William Robert Burton."