MANILA—The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on Wednesday slammed the impending release of former Calauan town mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted in the murder of 2 young students in 1993.
Sanchez's supposed release due to a new rule on the reduction of sentences based on good conduct in jail and a Supreme Court decision permitting it to be applied retroactively is unacceptable, the watchdog said.
"As the surviving relatives of victims of heinous crimes, such as rape and murder, we felt that the law has short-changed us from the justice our beloved family members truly deserve," VACC said in a statement.
The group said there should be a provision in the law, wherein families of victims should be notified of the pending release the convicts.
"The pain will be more, because all of a sudden, we as the surviving kin of victims will see these as a form of injustice," VACC said.
The group called on Congress to reinstate the death penalty instead for those convicted of heinous crimes.
Sanchez was sentenced in 1995 to 7 counts of reclusion perpetua (or 40 years imprisonment) over the murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez. Sarmenta was also found raped.
Pasig Regional Trial Court judge Harriet Demetriou, who convicted Sanchez and his men, called it "a plot seemingly hatched in hell."
In a 1993 ruling that denied Sanchez's challenge against Demetriou, the Supreme Court said "There is probably no more notorious person in the country today than Mayor Antonio L. Sanchez of Calauan, Laguna, who stands accused of an unspeakable crime."