The family of former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez is not interested in complying with the court’s order of having to pay the families of the mayor’s victims’ Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez, of Php12.6 million in damages.
Present during the Senate hearing on the alleged early release of Sanchez due to the Good Conduct Time Allowance under Republic Act 10592, Mrs. Elvira Sanchez, the wife of the former mayor, insisted that his husband is innocent, therefore they do not owe the families of Sarmenta and Gomez anything.
“Laging paulit-ulit namin sinasabi, bakit kami magbabayad? Wala naman kasalanan ang aking asawa,” Elvira said during the joint hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and the Senate Committee on Justice.
“Yung sinasabi nilang araw, petsa, na sinabing ni-rape si Eileen at pinatay si Allan, nasa amin ang asawa ko,” Elvira insisted.
Department of Justice Sec. Menardo Guevarra admitted that the judgement of court is final and executory. However, he added that state prosecutors only handles the criminal aspect of the case, and it will be better for them to just assist the private counsel of the victims in requesting for a writ of execution.
“We may assist the private counsel handling the civil aspect of the case. That is the best that we can do,” Guevarra said in response to the questions of Sen. Drilon.
“But if the suggestion is in the interest of justice, may our prosecutors take upon themselves the matter of prosecuting, in a certain sense, the civil side of the case, then so be it. Let us leave it to judge, ” Guevarra added.
Guevarra also pointed out that the court handed the ruling against former mayor Sanchez in 1995, and that there is a prescriptive period of 10 years for execution of judgments.
“There have been many secretaries of the Department of Justice who should have taken this step long ago,” the DOJ chief said.
“Based on judgements, you have a period of 10 years in which to enforce it by actions, five years by mere motion. So, it is really up to the people who are handling this case long before and not now,” Guevarra stressed.
Senate Minority leader Franklin Drilon was the Secretary of Justice when Sanchez was sentenced to seven terms of Reclusion Perpetua for the rape and murder of Sarmenta and the murder of Gomez.