Antonio Sanchez, more than 10k other inmates to get out of prison ‘soon’
MANILA, Philippines- Former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, the convicted rapist and murderer of two University of the Philippines Los Baños students, may be released soon, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday.
“Mayor Sanchez’s good conduct time allowance is being recomputed pursuant to the new law and a recent Supreme Court ruling,” Guevarra said.
However, Guevarra clarified that not only Sanchez but over 10,000 inmates would benefit from Republic Act 10592 or the law that increased the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) given to inmates. The GCTA provides additional time to be deducted from an inmate’s prison sentence as a reward for his or her good behavior.
RA 10592 expanded the application of good conduct time allowance (GCTA) for prisoners even during preventive suspension, increased the number of days for GCTA, allowed additional deduction of 15 days each month of for time allowance for study, teaching or mentoring service (TASTM), and expanded the special time allowance for loyalty (STAL) even during preventive suspension.
The Supreme Court last June said that the application should have a retroactive effect to cover inmates convicted prior to the enactment of the law.
Guevarra said the additional GCTA would be “beneficial to all persons under detention.”
“Hindi lang prospective but retroactive ang application so that benefits lahat ng nakakulong na preso kasama si Mayor Sanchez na matagal na ring nakakulong mae entitle doon sa recomputation kaya baka makalabas na sya,”Guevarra said.
The DOJ Chief amd the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) are doing the recomputation of the inmates’ GCTA.
“Libu-libo yan. So marami ang kino-compute na GCTA…So I guess madami ang makaka-labas. Ang tingin namin within the next two months, thousands of persons under detention would be released,” Guevarra said.
Sanchez was meted with seven terms of reclusion perpetua (up to 40 years imprisonment) for the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and killing of her boyfriend Allan Gomez.
In affirming the Pasig City Regional Trial Court’s ruling against Sanchez, the high court described the death of Sarmenta and Gomez as a “plot seemingly hatched in hell.”
Sarmenta was given as a “gift” to Sanchez while her companion was beaten and eventually shot to death. Witnesses who were members of Sanchez’ security team testified that after the former mayor raped the student, she was passed on to his guards who gang raped her.
When asked about a possible backlash, Guevarra said the law enacted by Congress and a Supreme Court decision is simply being implemented.
“Whether they are high profile or ordinary inmates, they will all benefit from the law,” Guevarra said.
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