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Panelo says he met Sanchez kin twice

/ 12:49 PM September 04, 2019
Panelo says he met Sanchez kin twice

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines—Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo admitted Wednesday that he had met with the family of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez twice amid the controversy hounding the family’s appeal for the grant of executive clemency for the former Calauan, Laguna mayor.

“‘Yung una basta ang natatandaan ko ‘yung asawa … ‘yung pangalawa galing ako sa press briefing paglabas ko ng press briefing sa kwarto natin nandun sila,” Panelo said in an interview over CNN Philippines.

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Panelo, however, did not provide further details of the said meetings.

Panelo made the admission after Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) chief Reynaldo Bayang revealed during a Senate inquiry that Panelo wrote to him on February 26 this year, referring a letter written by Sanchez’ daughter, Marie Antonelvie, regarding the pardon application of her father.

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Panelo, who is also President Rodrigo Duterte’s legal counsel, served as one of the lawyers of Sanchez in the 1993 rape and murder case of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta, and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez.

But Panelo clarified that he only “referred” the letter to the BPP and did not recommend the grant of executive clemency.

READ: Parole board chief: Panelo ‘referred’ Sanchez pardon bid to me

READ: Panelo denies endorsing Sanchez’s bid for clemency: I merely referred letter

In a Palace briefing Tuesday, the Palace official also admitted meeting the daughter of Sanchez in his office in Malacañang once early this year but he denied influencing Sanchez’ application for executive clemency.

READ: Panelo confirms meeting with Sanchez’s kin: It’s all recorded

He stressed that he never had “personal communication” with them aside from the “official” meeting in his office which he said was recorded.

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Records from the security logbook at the New Executive Building in Malacañang showed that Sanchez matriarch, Elvira, visited Panelo’s office on February 7, a day before her daughter sent an e-mail to the Palace official asking for help on her father’s application for clemency.

The logbook also indicated that Elvira and her daughter again visited Panelo’s office on February 26 to follow up on their request.

Curiously, Panelo wrote the BPP chief a “referral letter” on Sanchez’ application for executive clemency on February 26.

The BPP dismissed in December 2018 Sanchez’ petition for executive clemency. It upheld the dismissal of Sanchez’ appeal in a decision dated February 27, a day after Panelo wrote to the bureau. /jpv

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TAGS: Antonio Sanchez, Bucor, GCTA, Local news, Malacañang, Nation, national news, news, Philippine news update, Salvador Panelo
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