Former Pasig Regional Trial Court Judge Harriet Demetriou slammed Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo over his involvement in the impending release of his former client, a convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez.
On Wednesday, Demetriou said Panelo and Bureau of Corrections Director Nicanor Faeldon should resign from their respective posts since they intentionally twisted the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) in order to fit it the Republic Act 10592.
“Tini-twist nila na good conduct time allowance (GCTA) kasi matagal na daw si Sanchez doon na 25 years. Eh mabulok man siya doon, hindi siya qualified under the law unless the law is amended,” she said.
Demetriou said Faeldon allowed the GCTA application of Sanchez despite not being totally qualified since the law excludes heinous crime convicts from shorter jail time privilege. She added that the BuCor chief is clearly making a mockery of RA 10592.
“Faeldon is also making a mockery of the RA 10592 na nagsasabi sa kanya, mga prison officials na huwag niyong palayain si Sanchez kasi guilty ‘yan ng committing ng heinous crime… Klarong klaro ang batas. Bakit hindi nila yan masunod? Bakit ipapalusot nila sa good conduct time allowance na hindi naman qualified?” she said.
Meanwhile, Demetriou said that it is impossible for Panelo to not meddle in the decision against Sanchez given his position in the Duterte administration. The presidential spokesman was one of Sanchez’ defense lawyers during the 1993 rape-slay case of the former Calauan mayor.
“Hindi siya makakapagsabi na wala siyang alam sa pagpapalaya kay Sanchez, that is impossible. Presidential legal counsel siya,” she said.
The retired judge even said that Panelo is ‘very loyal’ to Sanchez and that he should be disbarred from being a lawyer.
“Mag-resign ka na lang, Panelo,” she said.
Panelo had earlier denied the reports of his involvement in the case saying he withdrew as counsel to Sanchez years ago, adding that he last saw the former mayor in the late ’90s.
Former mayor Antonio Sanchez was convicted of reclusion perpetua or lifetime imprisonment in 1993 for the rape and murder case of the University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and the death of her boyfriend, Allan Gomez.
Sanchez was convicted on March 11, 1995, by Judge Harriet Demetriou, who said his crime was “a plot seemingly hatched in hell.”