Robin Padilla on absolute pardon: No VIP treatment from President Duterte

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Robin Padilla on his reaction when President Rodrigo Duterte personally gave him the memorandum being granted absolute pardon: "Nakatingin lang siya sa akin kasi parang nag-aantay siya na magkuwento ako. Kasi ganun kami, kuwento… Pero hindi talaga ako nakasalita, speechless ako. Hanggang sa nakalabas kami ng opisina, nakatingin pa rin siya sa akin. Siguro natutuwa siya… Tulala ako, Ma'am, tulala talaga ako. Parang hindi mo maipaliwanag yung bagay na pangalawang buhay ito."


Robin Padilla firmly denied speculations that it was his closeness to President Rodrigo Duterte that led to the approval of his camp's application for him to be granted absolute pardon. 

This is in connection with Robin’s four-year conviction due to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Read: President Rodrigo Duterte grants absolute pardon to Robin Padilla

He said, "Hindi naman maiiwasan yun [speculations].

"Gusto ko lang sabihin sa mga tao, lahat ng mga naging pangulo malapit ako.

"FVR [Fidel V. Ramos], kinandidato ko po 'yan.

"Si Erap [Joseph Estrada's moniker] po, uncle ko po 'yan. May mga pinsan po ako, anak niyan.

"Ang una pong asawa niyan, si Tita Peachy [Osorio, former actress], pinsan ko.

"Kamag-anak ko po yun na masasabi natin — hindi ko po 'yan hiningan.

"Si GMA [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo], kinampanya ko po 'yan. Kung saan-saan ako inutusan niyan sa Mindanao, wala po akong hiningan.

"Si PNoy [Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III], kasama ko [bunsong kapatid niyang] si Kris Aquino sa Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw [ABS-CBN, 2012-2013], puwedeng-puwede ko sabihin, hindi ko po hiningan.

"Lahat po ng naging pangulo, malapit po 'yan. Pero hindi ko po hiningi.

"Ang humingi po nito, siya at saka yun," said Robin, referring to his legal counsel Atty. Rudolf Jurado and talent manager Betchay Vidanes.


Robin, together with his talent manager Betchay Vidanes and legal counsel Rudolf Jurado, gamely posed using President Rodrigo Duterte's signature hand gesture at his solo presscon this Wednesday, November 16.

These past few weeks, Robin had been vocal about his pending application for a U.S. visa and his desire to join wife Mariel Rodriguez in the States, in time for her giving birth to their first child. 

But the 46-year-old action star stressed that he never thought of asking the president to help him speed up the process of the approval of his U.S. visa application, more so an absolute pardon of his previous conviction. 

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He explained, "Kasi para sa akin, nung naglabas ng [letter of] recommendation ang ABS-CBN [para sa aking U.S. visa application], napakalaking tulong.

"E, eto, daig nito ang rekomendasyon. Hindi man ito literal na sumulat…

"Hindi ko naman hahayaan na mangyari yun, 'Mr. President, gawan mo naman ako ng sulat para sa [U.S. embassy].'

"No way! Yun ang VIP treatment. Bakit gagawin ng pangulo yun para sa 'yo?

"Pero eto, daig pa ito nun.

"Pardon ito e, absolute pardon ito.

"Sinasabi ng Pangulo na, 'Pinagkakatiwalaan namin itong taong ito, pagkatiwalaan niyo.'"

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and a few entertainment reporters were able to interview Robin at Mario's Restaurant in Quezon City, earlier today, November 16. 

UNEXPECTED PARDON FROM PRESIDENT DUTERTE. Robin further said that he was rendered speechless when President Duterte personally handed over to him a copy of Malacañang’s memorandum, granting the action star an “Absolute Pardon with full restoration of civil and political rights.”

Robin said that he had no idea that he would be granted absolute pardon when he met President Duterte in Malacañang yesterday, November 15.

Apparently, their meeting was originally set for Robin's sister Rema Padilla-Ohno, who is hoping to to take part in the president’s campaign to provide better healthcare service in the country.

“Ano kasi yun, nagpunta ako sa Davao last week.

"Pero hindi ‘yan, walang kinalaman ‘yan diyan [sa absolute pardon].

“Nagpunta ako sa Davao para ihingi ng appointment yung kapatid ko, si Ate Rema.

“Si Ate Rema kasi, for 20 years, nasa health business ‘yan.

"Kapag pumunta kayo sa Amang Rodriguez Hospital, kapag nakita niyo yung mga MRI dun, siya po ang nagkabit dun — yung mag-rehabilitate ng mga public hospital.

"'Yan ang battle cry ng Duterte administration — ayusin ang health[care services].

“Yun ang pinunta ko sa Davao. Para humingi ng appointment, i-present yung ate ko, yung kanyang programa.”

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After meeting the president in Davao last week, Robin got another appointment with the president in Malacañang to further discuss his sister’s advocacy.

“Kapapanganak ni Mariel, nag-labor, wala akong tulog.

"Sa totoo lang, kung hindi lang sa kapatid ko, baka pass muna tayo, ‘tol.

"Talagang nandun ako kay Mariel tsaka kay Isabella.

“Pero siyempre, kapatid ko, alam ko naman ang kanyang revolution din. Sinamahan ko ngayon.

“Pagdating sa Malacañang, siyempre mga kaibigan ko yung mga nandun, nakasama natin nung eleksyon, lahat yun.

"Ang sabi sa akin, ‘May sasabihin sa ‘yo si Presidente.’

“Nagtaka ako. Maraming tumakbo sa isip ko, pero ang namayani talaga, 'Naku, posisyon ito. At sigurado, eto na, hindi na ako makakatanggi dito.'”

By the time he was finally face to face with President Duterte, Robin said that he was so nervous that he even got the names of his companions all mixed up when the actor was introducing them to the president.

“Madaling salita, nandiyan na si Pangulo. Tumayo ako, sabi ko, ‘Mayor.’

"Mayor kasi ang tawag ko sa kanya. ‘Mayor, magandang gabi po.’ Sabi niya, ‘Halika.’

“E, di naupo kami. Pag-upo, ‘O, basahin mo.’

"Sabi ko, ‘Naku, eto na yung appointment.’ Iniisip ko talaga appointment, hindi na ako makakatanggi.

"Kasi kung meron kaming iniiwasan, yun 'yon. Kaya inisip ko, sinulat na lang.

“Eto na, pagbukas ko, nakita ko agad yung ‘pardon.’

"Iba na! Naano na ako!

“Sa totoo lang po, nawalan ako ng ulirat.

"Kasi hindi ko po talaga alam kung totoo ito. Panaginip ba ito?

"Kasi hindi ko naman ano ito, e.

“E, di sabi ni Mayor, ‘Basahin mo.’ Yung recommendation agad ang binasa ko.

"Sinabi dito na nire-recommend ako na absolute pardon.

“Tiningnan ko agad dito [last page of the presidential memorandum], approve.

"Hindi ko naman tinatawag na sir si Mayor. Natawag ko siya na sir.

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"‘Sir, pirmado niyo na po.’ ‘Oo,’ sabi niya.

“Wala na ako! Binuksan ko ito [presidential memorandum], hindi ko na nabasa kasi iiyak na ako.

"E, ayaw ko naman mag-drama nang wala sa script. Hindi ako sanay. Hindi ako magiging kumportable.”

Robin was accompanied by his legal counsel Atty. Rudolf Jurado, who was the one responsible for filing the request for the actor's absolute pardon before the Board of Pardon last "July or August" 2016. 

EMOTIONAL ROBIN. Robin shared that he got so emotional that he almost cried, but had to take a hold of himself since he’s in front of the President Duterte.

PEP asked, what did the president say when he got teary-eyed?

Robin answered, “Hindi ko naman gagawin umiyak sa harapan niya, baka batukan ako nun.

"Hindi naman. Ano lang, talagang pinigil ko talaga.

"May kuha pa nga ako na hindi ako makahinga.

“Parang talagang bagong panganak, e.

"Nakatingin lang siya sa akin kasi parang nag-aantay siya na magkuwento ako.

"Kasi ganun kami, kwento…

“Pero hindi talaga ako nakasalita, speechless ako.

"Hanggang sa nakalabas kami ng opisina, nakatingin pa rin siya sa akin. Siguro natutuwa siya…

"Tulala ako, Ma'am, tulala talaga ako. Parang hindi mo maipaliwanag yung bagay na pangalawang buhay ito."

It can be recalled that the action star was sentenced to 21 years of imprisonment due to illegal possession of firearms back in 1995.

After serving several years at the Muntinlupa National Penitentiary, Robin was granted conditional pardon by Malacañang, under the administration of President Fidel Ramos, back in 1998.

Last May 2016, Robin was forced to shed light to the fact that he still couldn’t exercise his right to vote during the 2016 national elections, since his previous conviction has deprived him of his civic and political rights.

Read: Robin Padilla cries foul over character assassination against him

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With the president granting him absolute pardon, Robin’s thrilled that he can now enjoy rights and privileges equally given to any other Filipino citizen.

“Ang laki nitong ginhawa sa akin!

"Sa ibang tao napakasimple kumuha ng NBI clearance, pero sa akin, ilang araw yun.

"Pupunta ka dun, iba e, iba yung sa amin.

“Mag-a-apply ka sa ibang bansa, siyempre sa embassy, pantay-pantay kayo dun.

"Alam na alam lahat dun kung ikaw ay may record kasi nakahiwalay ka.

"Wala naming racism, iba lang ang treatment sa may record.

“Ngayon, wala na lahat yun.

“Kapag pumupirma ka ng visa application, tuwang-tuwa ka.

"Pagdating dun sa dulo, ‘Have you been convicted?’ Wala na. Tapos na.

“May show ka sa abroad, katulad nito nung Sabado, may show ako sa abroad, hindi ako nakadating, kasi hindi ako nabigyan ng visa sa Australia.

"Mawawala na lahat yun."


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