MANILA - Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas on Thursday claimed convicted rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez was nearly released last August 20, with a welcome party waiting in his hometown Calauan, Laguna, where he served as mayor.
"Balita namin the order was August 20 at naghahanda pa ang Calauan Municipal town ng welcome para sa kaniya,” Brosas said in a press conference.
(We heard the supposed release was last August 20, and the Calauan Municipal town was already preparing a welcome party for him.)
Sanchez was convicted in 1995 and sentenced to over 200 years in prison over the 1993 rape-slay case of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the torture-murder of companion Allan Gomez.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Nicanor Faeldon previously said Sanchez was eligible for release as a beneficiary of a 2013 law expanding the application of good conduct time allowances for convicts.
However, the two officials backtracked on their statement following public outrage, saying Sanchez was disqualified from the good conduct and time allowance (GCTA) rule based on several grounds, among them is the P1.5-million worth of illegal drugs found in his cell in 2010.
President Rodrigo Duterte also did not allow Sanchez to be released, Malacañang had said.
Brosas, however, challenged BuCor and the justice department (DOJ) to bare the supposed release order.
“Chinachallenge po namin na ilabas ng BuCor at saka ng DOJ yung sinasabi na merong release order sa kaniya. Apparently, 'di nakita ng mamamayan 'yung release order na 'yan," Brosas said.
(We challenge BuCor and DOJ to show the supposed release order on Sanchez. Apparently, the public does not know of the order.)
"Dapat maipakita po sa amin 'yun kasi kung merong usok, may apoy."
(It should be shown to us because where there is smoke, there is fire.)
Reports of Sanchez's possible release ignited widespread condemnation, and details of the horrific crime re-emerged online.
- Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News