Malacañang to enforce the law, not keen on opposing early release of ex-Mayor Sanchez

Published August 22, 2019, 3:46 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang is not inclined to oppose the release of convicted rapist and murderer former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez if he is eligible for early release for good behavior.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Palace cannot do anything but enforce the law unless such measure is amended or repealed by Congress.

“There is a law. If he qualifies under that law, then we cannot do anything. The best remedy there is you amend the law or repeal it. That’s for the lawmakers,” he said during a Palace press briefing.

“Until the law is there, we cannot do anything. They have to amend the law,” he added.

Asked if the Palace would oppose the convict’s release, Panelo said: “The Palace cannot oppose a law. The Palace can only implement a law. If we have any concern of the wisdom of the law, then it has to be addressed to lawmakers.”

He noted that the Republic Act 10592, which expands the application of good conduct time allowance for prisoners and the number of days credited for good conduct, was passed during the administration of then-President Benigno Aquino III.

Authorities earlier announced that Sanchez is among the inmates who may walk free based on a law allowing early release based on good behavior.

Sanchez has been in prison since he was convicted for the rape and killing of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta in 1993. He was also found guilty for the murder of her companion Allan Gomez.

Amid the public backlash, the Department of Justice has reportedly ordered a review of the good conduct time allowances granted to inmates involved in heinous crimes and other high-profile cases.

According to Panelo, the committee in charge of evaluating good conduct time must take into consideration any infraction done by convicts.

“If you say good conduct, you must have no infraction. Even inside the Bureau of Prisons, there are regulations so if you violate that there is an infraction, you don’t have good conduct on a particular day or year,” he said in Filipino.

Asked about Sanchez’ alleged infractions such as illegal drug use and lavish lifestyle, Panelo said it was up to the DOJ to decide on the matter and implement the law.

“If you have an infraction, then that should be considered by whoever is evaluating,” he added.

Panelo, a former lawyer of Sanchez, has denied anew involvement in his supposed impending liberty. He said he withdrew as Sanchez’s legal counsel in 1995.

He also declined to comment if Sanchez deserved a second chance, saying he has no personal knowledge of his conduct inside jail. He added that he was “not emotionally attached’ to his clients.

 
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Malacañang to enforce the law, not keen on opposing early release of ex-Mayor Sanchez

Published August 22, 2019, 7:58 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang is not inclined to oppose the release of convicted rapist and murderer former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez if he is eligible for early release for good behavior.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Palace cannot do anything but enforce the law unless such measure is amended or repealed by Congress.

“There is a law. If he qualifies under that law, then we cannot do anything. The best remedy there is you amend the law or repeal it. That’s for the lawmakers,” he said during a Palace press briefing.

“Until the law is there, we cannot do anything. They have to amend the law,” he added.

Asked if the Palace would oppose the convict’s release, Panelo said: “The Palace cannot oppose a law. The Palace can only implement a law. If we have any concern of the wisdom of the law, then it has to be addressed to lawmakers.”

He noted that the Republic Act 10592, which expands the application of good conduct time allowance for prisoners and the number of days credited for good conduct, was passed during the administration of then-President Benigno Aquino III.

Authorities earlier announced that Sanchez is among the inmates who may walk free based on a law allowing early release based on good behavior.

Sanchez has been in prison since he was convicted for the rape and killing of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta in 1993. He was also found guilty for the murder of her companion Allan Gomez.

Amid the public backlash, the Department of Justice has reportedly ordered a review of the good conduct time allowances granted to inmates involved in heinous crimes and other high-profile cases.

According to Panelo, the committee in charge of evaluating good conduct time must take into consideration any infraction done by convicts.

“If you say good conduct, you must have no infraction. Even inside the Bureau of Prisons, there are regulations so if you violate that there is an infraction, you don’t have good conduct on a particular day or year,” he said in Filipino.

Asked about Sanchez’ alleged infractions such as illegal drug use and lavish lifestyle, Panelo said it was up to the DOJ to decide on the matter and implement the law.

“If you have an infraction, then that should be considered by whoever is evaluating,” he added.

Panelo, a former lawyer of Sanchez, has denied anew involvement in his supposed impending liberty. He said he withdrew as Sanchez’s legal counsel in 1995.

He also declined to comment if Sanchez deserved a second chance, saying he has no personal knowledge of his conduct inside jail. He added that he was “not emotionally attached’ to his clients.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

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