Bato on GCTA mess: Death penalty cures everything

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2019 10:47 AM

MANILA - A lawmaker on Tuesday reiterated the need to restore the capital punishment amid controversy surrounding the early release of heinous crime convicts due to good conduct.

"To simplify everything, restore death penalty," Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said on ANC's Headstart.

In the interview, Dela Rosa believes that death penalty "cures everything".

"Pati yung drug lord d'yan kung hanggang ngayon nakakapag-transact pa rin ng business sa labas, hindi na 'yan makapag-conduct ng drug business nila dahil patay na, bitayan na dapat 'yan," he said.

A 2013 law expanding the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) for prisoners recently came under scrutiny following reports that it could benefit Antonio Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna convicted in 1990's rape-murder case that was among the most followed in the country.

In August, Dela Rosa was quoted as saying that Sanchez deserves a second chance.

"Yung sinasabi kong he deserves a second chance that's according to the law. Kailangan siyang i-release dahil nasa batas," he explained.

The former chief of the Bureau of Corrections said based on factual observations from BuCor officials, Sanchez is a "changed man".

Sanchez was sentenced in 1995 to 7 counts of reclusion perpetua (or 40 years imprisonment) over the murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez. Sarmenta was also found raped.

The senator said he is pushing for the death penalty for drug traffickers, which would now include Sanchez, after he was caught with illegal drugs in previous years.

"Naging drug na siya later dahil nakuhanan siya," he stressed.
 
In October 2006, shabu and marijuana were found inside Sanchez' jail during a surprise inspection. He was charged with possession of illegal drugs.

In 2010, Sanchez was caught again with P1.5-million worth of shabu concealed in a statue of the Virgin Mary.

"Kung ako lang masunod, dapat binitay na 'yan noon pa. Wala tayong death penalty," he said.