Sotto: SC can stop Sanchez’s impending release
MANILA, Philippines—The implementation of the law that would pave the way for the early release of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez must be stopped, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said Thursday.
And this, he said, could be done by bringing the issue before the Supreme Court (SC).
Sotto said this as he plans to file a resolution in the Senate, seeking a review of Republic Act 10592 that increased the Good Conduct Time Allowance fo prisoners.
Sanchez, who was convicted for raping and killing Eileen Sarmenta and her friend Allan Gomez in 1993, was among the more than 10,000 inmates who would reportedly benefit from the law.
Sotto, however, noted the two incidents where the former mayor was caught in possession of illegal drugs even inside his prison cell.
“In short, he doesn’t qualify, ganun kasimple lang ang usapan dun,” the Senate leader said in an interview at the Senate.
Sotto then said he would push for amendments of the law to exclude those charges with heinous crimes from its coverage.
But pending review of the law, the Senate leader said its implementation must be stopped, probably by seeking a temporary restraining order from the SC.
“Right now, it has to be stopped because the computation is not correct,” Sotto said, referring in particular to the computation of Sanchez’s jail term.
“Perhaps someone can bring it up to the Supreme Court for temporary restraining order so that it will not be executed right away,” he added.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who prosecuted Sanchez when he was Justice secretary, also appealed to the Department of Justice to put on hold the impending release of the former mayor.
“We appeal to the Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra to hold the release of Sanchez and to review and study carefully if, number one, Sanchez is really entitled to the benefits of RA 10592; and, number two, if he has really exhibited good conduct while he is in prison,” Drilon said in a statement.
He said he would file a resolution to investigate Sanchez’s impending release, saying the applicability of RA 10592 to Sanchez is questionable. /jpv