BPP: Panelo referred Sanchez’s bid for clemency
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo had referred to the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) the request of former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez’s family for executive clemency.
This was disclosed during the ongoing Senate hearing on the controversy on Tuesday involving the early release of heinous crime convicts, including Sanchez.
Panelo happened to be part of Sanchez’s legal counsel in the 1993 killing of University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.
During Senator Richard Gordon’s questioning, BPP executive director Reynaldo Bayang revealed that Panelo was among those who wrote his office a letter on behalf of the family.
Bayang then read Panelo’s letter to the BPP dated February 26, 2019.
“We write in reference to the letter dated February 8, 2019, from Ms. Marie Antonelvie Sanchez regarding the application of her father, Mr. Antonino L. Sanchez, for executive clemency,” Panelo said in the letter.
“In line with the President’s commitment for good governance, transparency and immediate action on matters that affect the welfare of the people, we are referring this matter to your good office for evaluation, and whatever appropriate action you may want to undertake under the premises.
“We request that your good office update us for record purposes and for whatever action this office may want to undertake consistent with law and the policy of the President for good government,” the letter further said.
Gordon, who was presiding over the hearing as chair of the Senate justice committee, immediately rejected any malice on his questioning, noting that Panelo merely referred the letter of Sanchez’s daughter to the BPP .
“Wala hong malisya sa tinatanong ko dito, no. Kaibigan ko si Sal Panelo… Totoo naman ‘yan e …hindi naman dinidiin,” the senator said.
“Ang sinasabi ko lang , sumulat, nilapitan niyo. In other words, ni-refer,” he said.
But despite Panelo’s letter and other recommendation letters from certain government officials, including former Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos, Gordon noted that the BPP had turned down the petition for Sanchez’s clemency.
“So walang tumalab. Walang kamandag sa inyo ‘yung sulat…” the senator pointed out. /je
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