Angara on Panelo referral of Sanchez pardon bid: ‘It’s a gray area’
MANILA, Philippines — A “gray area.”
This is how Senator Sonny Angara, a lawyer, described Thursday the referral by presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo of the application for executive clemency of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez.
“It’s a gray area, what he did. I think he just referred it, that’s what he is claiming. Pinasa lang naman niya but when I read the letter he was talking about executive clemency,” Angara said in an interview over ANC.
“It seemed to me like he was asking the jail officials if this guy was already eligible for executive clemency which is another thing from good conduct time allowance. Siguro baka tinatanong niya, pwede na ba ipardon ito ng presidente, something like that,” he added.
Panelo served as one of the lawyers of Sanchez in the 1993 rape-slay case of University of the Philippines-Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend, Allan Gomez.
During the second Senate hearing on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law, Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) chief Reynaldo Bayang said Panelo referred to his office a letter written by Sanchez’s daughter, Marie Antonelvie, on the pardon application of her father.
Panelo has since explained that his referral was not an act of intervention, saying that he was merely following orders for Palace officials to respond to all concerns that reach Malacañang.
“I think definitely may official dun (who) would not take it at face value, baka would look at it, as you mentioned, as some kind of coercion or implied undue influence,” Angara said. /muf
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