Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday appealed to the Department of Justice to further probe the reduced sentence of the rapist and murderer ex-Mayor Antonio Sanchez.
“I am shocked and saddened by this news. I had personally worked hard during my time as secretary of justice to provide justice to the victims and their faimilies. Dugo’t pawis at luha po ang inukol natin diyan,” Drilon said in an interview.
Drilon was the Justice Secretary who handled the rape slay of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of her companion Allan Gomez in 1993.
Sanchez was convicted on March 11, 1995, for seven counts of rape with homicide and sentenced to suffer seven reclusion perpetua, by Judge Harriet Demetriou of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), who said his crime was “a plot seemingly hatched in hell.”
“We appeal to the Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra to hold the release of Sanchez and to review and study carefully if, number one, Sanchez is really entitled to the benefits of RA 10592; and, number two, if he has really exhibited good conduct while he is in prison,” Drilon said.
The Senator also added that he will be filing a resolution to investigate the impending release of Sanchez, saying the applicability of RA 10592 to Sanchez is questionable. This was following the previous news of the ex-Mayor being a bully inside the New Bilibid Prison.
In 2010, Sanchez was caught with at least Php 1.5 million worth of shabu hidden in a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary while in 2015, he was seized for having an airconditioning unit and a flat-screen TV inside his cell.
Drilon also slammed the Bureau of Pardon and Parole on its computation of Sanchez’ good conduct time allowance.
“Paano natin mako-consider na good behavior yun? Is Mayor Sanchez really qualified under RA 10592? This is a question of fact, so it is best for the Department of Justice to put on hold its decision until these issues are resolved,” the minority leader said.
In the end, Drilon said he felt sorry to the family of then 21-year-old Sarmenta who had their wounds from the past re-opened due to the impending release of Sanchez.