In 1993, bodies of University of the Philippines – Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta (21), and his boyfriend Allan Gomez (19) were found in separate areas in Laguna. Sarmenta was repeatedly raped before she was shot in the face, while Gomez’ body showed traces of torture before he was also shot to death.
What even shocked the country then was the result of Sarmenta’s medico-legal. It showed that the amount of semen found inside her body is enough to ‘fill a can of sardines.’
The autopsy and vaginal examination conducted by Dr. Vladimir Villaseñor, the medico-legal officer of the PNP-CIS, said that there was “a great quantity of whitish fluid and that continued to ooze from Eileen’s vaginal opening even after hours after her death.”
The name of then Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez surfaced with reports stating that Sarmenta was a ‘gift’ to the mayor by his men. The court documents stated that Sanchez raped Eileen then he gave her to his men for them to enjoy before they decided to kill her.
In 2019, the name of Sanchez has once again appeared to the public but this time, with a hope of his impending release under the amended provisions of Republic Act 10592 in the Constitution. This was following the statement of Justice Sec. Menardo Guevarra stating Sanchez is one of the thousands of prisoners in the New Bilibid Prison that qualified for a recomputation for good conduct time allowance under RA 10592.
Several senators and government officials including the Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon said that Sanchez may not qualify for the privilege of granting pardon following his several prison violations.
1991 – Nelson and Rickson Peñalosa murder
This wasn’t the first murder case of Sanchez.
In 1999, the Calauan mayor was charged with 2 terms of reclusion perpetua for the murder of father and son Nelson and Rickson Peñalosa. The older Peñalosa happened to be a political leader of Sanchez’ opponent for the mayoral seat at the time.
According to court records, Rickson was Nelson’s son who was in the same vehicle that Sanchez’ men shot in 1991, just two years before the 1993 rape-slay of Sarmenta took place. However, the unfaithful murder of the father-son was only brought to court in 1994.
The trial court decision was issued on December 1996, Sanchez was already inside the jail for Sarmenta’s rape-slay case.
However, even though Sanchez was sentenced to different terms of reclusion perpetua for two different crimes, Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code says if the convict shall serve two or more penalties, those penalties shall be served successively for a duration of up to three times the maximum penalty but which shall not exceed 40 years.
Alleged bribing incident
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission has accused Sanchez of bribing Joseph Estrada and other top officials with over Php 10 million to take the heat away from him following the news of the bloody UPLB rape-slay case with the former Calauan mayor as the mastermind.
According to reports, Sanchez’s links with Estrada includes jueteng payolas that is why Gen. Alqueza’s son, Kit Alqueza, stood as the first suspect in the rape-slay.
Drugs inside Sanchez’s cell
A complaint was filed against Sanchez in 2006 for allegedly possessing shabu and other drug paraphernalia inside his jail cell. Four years later, in 2010, a kilo of shabu worth Php 1.5 million was discovered in one of the Blessed Virgin Mary statues inside his cell during a random check at the national penitentiary.
BuCor reports also revealed that Sanchez tested positive for drug use.
In 2015, authorities seized an air conditioner, flat-screen television and a refrigerator from the former mayor’s cell during a raid of Bilibid’s Maximum Security Compound.