Guevarra confirms Duterte stopped Antonio Sanchez’s release

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday confirmed President Duterte’s order to hold the release of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez.

“The request that I received from Malacañang was to hold the processing of Mayor Sanchez’s case until all the factual and legal issues have been fully threshed out,” Guevarra said in a statement.

It was Sen. Bong Go who broke the news about Mr. Duterte’s order to Guevarra and Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon not to release Sanchez.

“Nung nalaman ni Pangulong Duterte yang balitang yan, ipinarating niya po kay BuCor chief Nick Faeldon at kay Secretary Guevarra na huwag i-release [si Sanchez] upon the order of the higher authority,” Go said.

“Sino pa ba ang higher authority? Not higher authorities, higher authority. Ibig sabihin ang Pangulo,” he added.

Go said the order was given Wednesday night.

Go said Duterte was angered by reports that Sanchez could be released soon on the basis of a reduced sentence due to “good conduct” in prison.

Duterte believed that Sanchez, having committed a heinous crime, is “excluded” from Republic Act No. 10592.

“Abugado po ang Pangulo. Pinag-aaralan niya ang batas. Excluded po siya (Sanchez) dun sa Republic Act No. 10592. Sa Section 1, excluded ang lahat ng heinous crimes,” Go said.

Sanchez hogged the headlines once again after it was reported recently that he maybe out from prison soon.

This was because of a new law increasing good conduct time allowance of prisoners (Republic Act 10592), and a recent Supreme Court decision applying this law retroactively.

Sanchez was convicted for the 1993 rape and murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.

The verdict was handed down on March 11, 1995 by Judge Harriet Demetriou, who said that the rape and murder of Sarmenta and Gomez were “a plot seemingly hatched in hell.”

The SC upheld the Laguna regional trial court ruling in 1999 against Sanchez, who is currently serving his sentence of seven terms of reclusion perpetua at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.

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