Prisoners seeking early release must first pay civil damages: Drilon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 06 2019 11:56 AM | Updated as of Sep 06 2019 12:04 PM

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MANILA - Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Friday said that one of the amendments he sees in the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law is a provision that would ensure that early prison release applicants have already paid civil damages to their victims' families.

"One of the amendments I am thinking of is before you can avail of the time allowance for good conduct, good conduct includes the satisfaction of the judgement rendered meaning the payment of civil damages," Drilon said on ANC's Headstart.

He said this came up after it was bared during Tuesday's Senate inquiry on the GCTA where the family of convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez said they have no intention to pay millions in damages to the families of his victims Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.

Sanchez was among those earlier reported to be eligible for early release under GCTA. His release order was signed but later rescinded amid uproar over his possible freedom without having served his full sentence.

Sanchez's wife Elvira also maintained her husband's innocence when asked by Drilon if he had paid up the P12,671,900 in damages the Supreme Court ordered Sanchez to pay his victims' families.

The former Calauan, Laguna mayor was sentenced in 1995 to 7 terms of reclusion perpetua (40 years each) over the rape-slay of Sarmenta and killing of Gomez.

Meanwhile, Drilon urged Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to lead in the filing of a writ of execution in court to compel the Sanchez family to pay.

"When you issue a writ of execution, you go through all the properties, the bank records, the house registered in his name...etc. All of those in the possession adjudged to pay this amount, all the properties are subject to execution," he said.

The justice and interior departments have suspended processing of convicts' early release applications pending a review. From 2013 until August this year, some 2,000 heinous crime convicts were released under the GCTA, Bureau of Corrections data earlier showed.