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Drilon wants the Board of Pardons and Parole investigated in the Senate

Some senators express shock over Sanchez’s impending release

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:22 AM August 22, 2019
Some senators express shock over Sanchez's impending release

Murder and rape convict Antonio Sanchez shows his prison cell in this February 1999 photo. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon wants the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) investigated by the Senate over the impending release of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez.

Drilon was the Justice secretary when  Sanchez was convicted for  rape and murder of  Eileen Sarmenta, and also the killing of her friend,  Allan Gomez.

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Sarmenta and Gomez  were students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños when the  crimes were committed in 1993.

The former mayor was among the more than 10,000 inmates  that may be freed soon in accordance with Republic Act 10592 or the law that increased the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) given to  prisoners.

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READ: Early Sanchez release sparks fear, anguish

But this came as a surprise  to Drilon.

“Nagulat po ako noong sinabi nila na dahilan sa good conduct allowance ay pwede nang palayin,”   he said in an interview over Bombo Radyo on Thursday.

But how can  Sanchez  be given allowance for good conduct and behavior when he was reportedly involved   illegal drug trade even inside the prison? the senator asked.

“Ang balita pa natin ay mayroon siyang aircon sa kaniyang kulungan. Paano naman naging good conduct ito?” Drilon further asked.

“Ating aalamin sa Senado, mag-file ako ng resolution at hihingi ako ng imbestigasyon at alamin kung tama ba ang ginagawa ng BPP tungkol dito,” he added.

Opposition  Senator Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, called on the correction officials “to prudently review and determine who truly deserve and are qualified to have their jail terms reduced.”

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While she agreed with the  retroactive  application of Republic Act 10592,  Hontiveros  expressed  her strong objection on reducing Sanchez’s jail term.

“Sanchez has shown no signs of remorse and displayed no effort at improving himself in behavior or character inside the penitentiary. In fact, even inside prison, he has continued committing crimes with impunity,”   she said in a statement.

“How can Sanchez qualify for good conduct when he was reportedly caught with P1.5 million worth of shabu hidden in a religious statue in his cell in 2010? How does he qualify for good behavior when he was enjoying VIP perks such as an airconditioning unit and a flat-screen TV, also in his cell in 2015? These are not the acts of a reformed and repentant inmate,” Hontiveros added.

To free an unrepentant criminal, who refuses to take responsibility for his brutal crimes and has even committed new and serious crimes while serving time is not “restorative justice,” the senator said.

“It is a mockery of justice and itself a crime,” Hontiveros further  said. /jpv

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TAGS: Bilibid, Calauan, Drilon, Local news, Pardon, Philippine news update, Sanchez
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