Sanchez had sought clemency, but was denied due to ‘gravity of offenses’

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2019 03:14 AM | Updated as of Aug 23 2019 07:20 AM

MANILA—The Board of Pardons and Parole in 2018 dismissed the petition for executive clemency of rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez because of the extent of his crime, a document obtained by ABS-CBN showed.

"The board, in a resolution dated Dec. 10, 2018, resolved to deny his petition for executive clemency, citing the gravity of the offenses he has committed as the reason thereof," the resolution read.

The Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 70 imposed 7 counts of reclusion perpetua on Sanchez for the rape-slay case of University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez in 1995.

A year later, the Pasig City RTC Branch 160 also imposed 2 counts of reclusion perpetua against Sanchez for the double murder of political leader Nelson Peñalosa and his son, Rickson, in 1996.

Sanchez was also found guilty of violating Republic Act 6713 or the code of conduct for public officials.

The convict filed a motion for reconsideration on the same day his petition was denied.

Sanchez said in his petition he was a victim of "dirty politics" and that the victims' relatives believed he was innocent. 

He said he became the "fall guy" of more powerful and influential people.

Sanchez also argued that other elected officials convicted of crimes, such as former Zamboanga del Norte congressman Romeo Jalosjos and former Batangas governor Jose Antonio Leviste, were released from prison.

He also said there are other persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who have committed more serious offenses who received favorable recommendation from the parole board.

Serving a prison sentence for more than 25 years and suffering from illnesses due to old age were also part of his reason to be considered for clemency.

Lastly, Sanchez said he has complied with the requirements from the parole board and that there was no objection to his petition.

In a resolution dated Feb. 27, 2019, the parole board, under the Department of Justice (DOJ), upheld the dismissal of Sanchez' appeal.

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"The Board further resolved to reiterate its previous action dated 10 December 2018 denying his petition for executive clemency," part of the resolution read.

"However, the Board restates that the power to grant clemency rests exclusively within the sound discretion of the President of the Philippines."

Documents also showed that Sanchez has served 34 years, 2 months and 26 days, including good conduct time allowances and credit for preventive imprisonment of 6 years, 3 months and 25 days.

Sanchez was received at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on March 15, 1995. He commenced serving his sentence on Dec. 8, 1999.—With reports from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News