BuCor chief: Sanchez ‘may not be qualified to go home’ yet
MANILA, Philippines — The chief of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) clarified Thursday that former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez will still remain in the national penitentiary for quite some time as he may not be qualified just yet for release under the new good conduct time allowance law.
BuCor Director General Nicanor Faeldon noted the “violations” committed by Sanchez while serving time inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa since 1995 for seven counts of rape and two counts of murder.
“Preliminary, kasi marami siyang involvement sa some not good behavior eh baka hindi nga siya qualified, that’s really the probability. He may not be qualified to go home today or in the next few months,” he explained.
In 2006, Sanchez was charged with illegal drug possession after a prison guard found him keeping a packet of shabu (crystal meth), marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
Faeldon, however, noted that the case was dismissed by the Muntinlupa court sometime in 2011.
Nevertheless, Faeldon said that “as far as the bureau is concerned, na technicality lang ‘yung kanyang kaso kaya na-dismiss pero nahuli pa rin ‘yan as as far as the bureau is concerned dun sa kubol mo.”
Sanchez was again charged in 2010 after P1.5-million worth of shabu was discovered stashed under a Virgin Mary statue inside his cell.
And in 2011, during a raid inside the maximum security, BuCor jail guards seized from the former mayor’s “kubol” a flat-screen television, an air-conditioner, and a refrigerator.
Faeldon said Sanchez’s papers had just been submitted on his table. He pledged that BuCor would “diligently” review his papers.
Faeldon even said that they would not be able to sleep at night if justice would not be served in their decision.
“Sigurado ako I will not allow computation of good conduct to anybody who has participated in the selling of drugs or provided sanctuary or supported or provided harbor to any drug peddlers while they are here,” Faeldon said.
Faeldon also belied reports that Sanchez was already released, and that the convict was spotted in his hometown in Calauan.
Members of the media were able to take photos of the 73-year-old Sanchez walking inside the maximum security compound on Thursday.
BuCor and the Department of Justice earlier said Sanchez was among the 11,000 national prisoners to be released in two months after a recomputation of their good conduct time allowance based on Republic Act No. 10592.
GCTA is earned as a reward for an inmate’s good behavior and deducted from the jail term that a prisoner needs to serve.
Despite being sentenced by the court to up to 360 years imprisonment, Sanchez could only serve up to 40 years in jail based on the “threefold rule” under Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code.
BuCor said under the old GCTA law, Sanchez has already served 26 years in jail, counting the time since he was arrested in 1993.
To recall, Sanchez was meted up to 280 years in jail for raping University of the Philippines-Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta, for killing her and her companion, Allan Gomez, in June 1993 in Laguna.
Sarmenta was given to Sanchez as a “gift” with court records showing that after the former mayor abused the student, his men subsequently gang-raped her.
Gomez, meanwhile, was beaten back and blue and eventually shot to death.
Sanchez was also separately sentenced to up to 80 years in jail for two other cases of murder. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.