Robredo sees public backlash over Sanchez’s possible release
MANILA, Philippines – The impending release of convicted rapist and former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez will surely draw the ire of the masses, Vice President Leni Robredo warned the government on Friday.
According to Robredo, she is expecting that Sanchez would not be allowed to walk away from the New Bilibid Prison.
“Dapat talaga hindi. At magrereklamo talaga iyong taumbayan kapag pinalabas siya,” she said in an interview with reporters in Eastern Samar.
The Vice President also praised the people for voicing their displeasure of these developments, as the absence of reaction may send a wrong signal to authorities.
“Kaya natutuwa tayo na iyong taumbayan talagang pinarating iyong kanilang boses, kasi paano na lang kung hindi tayo nag-react? Baka nalaman na lang natin nakalabas na siya,” Robredo added.
On Tuesday, reports said that Sanchez, who was found guilty of raping college student Eileen Sarmenta and masterminding the murder of Allan Gomez, might be included in the 10,000 inmates who would be freed.
This was supposedly after he obtained good conduct time allowance (GCTA) which may be subtracted from his jail time, as mandated by Republic Act 10592.
According to court records, Sanchez’ men presented Sarmenta as a gift, and after raping her, turned her over to six other men who also raped her. Both Sarmenta and Gomez were eventually killed.
Several personalities gave various views on the issue, with human rights groups slamming the move while Senator Ronald dela Rosa said Sanchez should be given a second chance. Dela Rosa also said that the former mayor was not involved in any trouble while the former was still the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief.
Just recently though, incumbent BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon clarified that Sanchez may not be freed yet because his attitude inside the jail facility — including stashing illegal drugs and other contraband items — would be considered.
Robredo still lamented this supposed treatment, asking why the release is a possibility even if he committed a crime she deemed more serious than heinous crimes.
“Iyong balita na pagpapalabas [sa kaniya], parang hina-highlight ulit iyong privilege ng mayayaman saka iyong kawalan ng pribilehiyo ng mga mahihirap. Kasi iyong tanong natin: Bakit iyong mga mayayaman, karumal-dumal na iyong ginawa, bibigyan ng pagkakataon na lumabas kahit hindi niya pa nase-serve iyong kaniyang sentence?” she asked.
“Eh iyong ginawa yata noong mga akusadong ito, sukdulan pa sa pagiging heinous,” she added.
Robredo also contrasted this with the number of drug suspects killed under the administration war on drugs, which supposedly consisted mostly of poor people.
“Tapos iyong mga mahihirap, hindi nga binigyan ng due process, pinapatay. So ano iyong mensaheng binibigay natin sa taumbayan, na talagang kapag mahirap ka, sorry ka,” Robredo noted.
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