'Cruel joke': Judge who sentenced Sanchez blasts convict's planned release

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2019 12:38 AM | Updated as of Aug 26 2019 02:09 PM

MANILA - The retired judge who handed former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez seven life sentences said freeing the convicted rapist and killer was a "mockery of justice" and a "cruel joke". 

Retired Judge Harriet Demetriou maintained that Sanchez, who was convicted in the rape and homicide of Eileen Sarmenta and the slay of her companion Allan Gomez, did not deserve to be freed under a law that allows inmates to be released for good conduct. 

"I will question first what is their interpretation of the law... Are people convicted of heinous crimes included or excluded? Wag nilang insultuhin ang intelligence ng Filipino public," Demetriou said. 

Demetriou also scored Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Senator Ronald dela Rosa and Bureau of Corrections Director General Nicanor Faeldon over their earlier statements that Sanchez deserved to be released. 

Demetriou said Panelo, who was the former lead counsel of Sanchez, has been defending his former client's good conduct behavior.

Panelo has denied that he had a hand in the plan to free Sanchez.  

The former judge also blasted Dela Rosa over his statement that Sanchez deserved a "second chance" despite being convicted of rape and homicide. 

Demetriou said the drug suspects who were killed in the police's anti-narcotics operations did not get a second chance

"Para kay Sen. Bato, ang tingin ko sa kanya he has two different concepts of justice--justice for the poor and justice for the rich. That should not be done in this country," Demetriou said.  

Dela Rosa drew flak over his remark and later said that Sanchez should have been given the death penalty.  

Demetriou also said Faeldon was wrong in saying Sanchez was qualified for release due to good conduct. 

"He (Sanchez) was treated like a king in his cell. Paano masasabi ni Faeldon na qualified siya for good conduct behavior when siya mismo, sila mismo nagto-tolerate?" 

The former judge said she had a higher respect for young people who are protesting plans to free Sanchez. 

"Yung mga nagra-rally mga bata, alam mo nakikita ko sila, mas may konsensiya pa sila kaysa mga public officials na walang konsensiya na gustong palayain si Sanchez."

Malacañang has said that it will not allow Sanchez to be released. 

- Report from Thea Omelan, ABS-CBN News