MANILA - The Department of Justice on Tuesday said it will pursue legal remedies that would direct the camp of rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez to pay P12.6 million in damages to the relatives of his victims Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.
This, after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who was justice chief at the time Sanchez was being tried, urged the DOJ to move for a writ of execution before the court.
"Wouldn’t justice dictate that your prosecutor should move for the issuance of a writ of execution for the Sanchez family to pay P12,671,900 which is already final and executory. As a matter of policy, as a matter of justice?" Drilon said.
"As a matter of justice, yes," Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
"We should take the initiate to deliver justice in this particular case because it is so unjust that here is Mayor Sanchez asking for clemency and who refuses to pay P12.6 million," Drilon said.
Guevarra, however, said there is a prescriptive period of 10 years for the execution of judgments.
"There have been many secretaries of the department of justice who should have taken this step long ago because there is a prescriptive period for executive period of judgments," Guevarra said.
"It’s really up to the people who were handling this case long before not now because there is a prescriptive period to do so."
Drilon, however, told the justice department to leave the decision to the court.
"Why don’t you let the court decide on the prescriptive period, let the Sanchez family oppose a writ of execution, but at least to show to the people that we are consistent in our pursuit of justice. Initiate an application for writ of execution to the court and leave it to the court, to Sanchez, to the Supreme Court to decide as to whether is valid or not," he said.
"We can do so," Guevarra relented.
Twenty-six years after the brutal killing of the two students, their families have yet to receive any compensation from the camp of the former mayor and his cohorts even after the Supreme Court ordered them to pay some P12 million in damages.
"Kahit isang kusing wala (not a single cent)," Maria Clara Sarmenta said in a previous interview with ANC's Early Edition.
"None at all," Iluminada Gomez said.