First Filipino Deaf in Death Row Freed
Finally, the first Filipino deaf convicted by the court is freed. Marlon Parazo, a Deaf-mute and mentally-retarded who was sentenced to death penalty by lethal injection, was finally freed last December 22, 2008 and given a second lease on his life. Hurray for the justice system albeit quite late!
His release was based on the medical findings by the Supreme Court. According to the report, he could not understand the whole proceedings and charges against him due to his loss of hearing and being a mental retardate.
This was announced by Philippine Federation of the Deaf (PFD) President, Racquel Estiller Corpuz who worked double time with Atty. Gregorio Viterbo of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), Willfredo Corpuz III a Deaf from Tarlac and Philippine Deaf Resource Center.
Prior to his release, Marlon has been languishing in Tarlac Provincial Jail and National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa.
Since his own family already disowned him, Pastor Rodel Manila of Samar Imanuel Deaf Christian Church accepted Marlon to shelter him in Borongan, Eastern Samar. I was introduced to Ptr. Rodel last Sunday (January 4) at Capitol City Baptist Church by Sis. May Andrada, wife of Ptr. Julius. He told us that Marlon is still temporarily residing at PFD Office while they are preparing for his travel to Samar. We are very grateful that their deaf church took the responsibility of caring for Marlon.
I remember in February 1999 when the convicted rapist Leo Echegaray, the first person to be executed in the Philippines in 23 years. That was the time when the country started to scrutinize the background of all convicts who are on death row. Marlon Parazo’s name came up. His is unique because he is the only deaf-mute (He can’t speak and diagnosed with mental illness) sentenced to death penalty. That was also the time when the deaf community especially those in Metro Manila had a serious campaign against his conviction. Each of our students at MCCID wrote their personal letters requesting the senate and then President Joseph Estrada to stop his execution, review his case and free him because of the injustice that he received from the court. After nine years, our petitions were realized.
Congratulations to all of those who helped his case brought to justice. I salute the efforts made by Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Special commendation goes to Wilfredo and Gilda (MCCID Alumni). We are truly proud of all of you for a job well done. Let’s hope that Marlon will have a better and more reformed life now that he is reunited with the society. 🙂
Here is the entire email sent by Philippine Federation of the Deaf to the deaf community.
We would like to share good news, Marlon Parazo the Deaf that sentenced to die in lethal injection and has been languished in Tarlac Provincial jail after he get out from National Penetentiary in Muntinlupa. was set free and given second lease of life.
I was teamed up with Atty. Gregorio Viterbo of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) and Willfredo Corpuz III (Deaf local of Tarlac) and PDRC. We were able to secure Marlon Parazo release last December 22, 2008
Pastor Rodel Manila of Samar Imanuel Deaf Christian Church accepted Marlon to shelter him in Borongan, Eastern Samar since his own family in Moncada, Tarlac and Palayan, Nueva Ecija disowned him.
Marlon had subject to court hearing without access to fair trial endeed he didnt defend himself, Amnesty International pleaded of his release in the early years of his incarceration in Muntinlupa.
Philippine Federation of the Deaf would like to thanks Atty. Viterbo, Mr. Corpuz, Gilda Quintua, Pastor Andy Pena (Hearing), Pastor Rodel Manila (Deaf), Dr. Liza Martinez, City Social Welfare Deverlopment of Tarlac City, Mrs Liwanag Caldito and Mr. Raffy Abat who fetched Marlon in Tarlac Provincial Jail and those (who) pledged financial assistance for Marlon’s transportation to Samar.
Amnesty International, a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all has prepared a background study and a Medical Letter Writing Action Document about Marlon’s case.