Palace: Duterte won’t allow Sanchez early release
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will not allow the early release of rape-slay convict former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, as he was not eligible from the law that shaves years off a prisoner’s jail term for good behavior, Malacañang said Friday.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo stressed that convicts of heinous crimes like Sanchez are not entitled to benefit from the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) system.
“Mr. Sanchez under Republic Act 10592 is not eligible so the President, as chief enforcer of the law, will have to follow the law,” Panelo told reporters.
Panelo was Sanchez’s lawyer for the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and for the murder of Allan Gomez, both University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) students in 1993.
It was earlier reported that Sanchez, who was sentenced to serve seven 40-year prison terms along with his aides for the killing of Sarmenta and Gomez, is among the thousands of inmates eligible for time reductions to their sentence due to GCTA.
According to Duterte’s former aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, the President was “enraged” when he learned that Sanchez could be released from prison.
“Magagalit siya [Duterte] because when the law says he’s disqualified e bakit mo iko-consider?” Panelo explained.
But the Palace official claimed that the provision of the law that states its “exclusions” could have been overlooked.
“Siguro ang nagyari diyan they were not able to look at the law. Kasi I noticed also in the law ‘yung exclusion [provision] nasa gitna parang hindi mapapansin… Baka hindi lang napansin,” Panelo said. /jpv
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