MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon to block the early release of rape-slay convict and former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez.
“Pinaabot niya [Duterte] kila BuCor chief Faeldon at Secretary Guevarra na hindi maaaring marelease ‘yan (si Sanchez) (The President told Secretary Guevarra and BuCor chief Faeldon that Antonio Sanchez cannot be released),” Duterte’s former aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go told reporters at the sidelines of the National Heroes Day rites in Taguig City Monday morning.
Duterte, a lawyer, believes that Sanchez, who was convicted of a heinous crime, should not be covered by Republic Act No. 10592, Go said.
Sanchez and his aides were sentenced to seven life terms for the rape and murder in 1993 of University of the Philippines- Los Baños (UPLB) student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her schoolmate, Allan Gomez.
Guevarra earlier said Sanchez would be among those who would benefit from the retroactive application of RA 10592, which shaves off years from an inmate’s sentence due to good behavior.
The 2013 law used to be prospective in application, but the Supreme Court had ruled that it would be retroactive, to cover cases prior to its enactment.
But Guevarra, as well as Faeldon, later backtracked and said that Sanchez was ineligible for early release.
Duterte’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, who was Sanchez’ former lawyer, earlier stressed that convicts of heinous crimes are not entitled to benefit from the law. /gsg
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