In the know: Who is Atty. Fredric Santos?

Lawyer Fredric Anthony Santos, the slain head of the Bureau of Corrections Legal Service, testified before the Senate last year which heard the anomalies surrounding the hugely-controversial good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III once told CNN Philippines that Santos, who was shot dead in front of her daughter’s school in Muntinlupa City on Wednesday afternoon, was ready to blow the whistle on the GCTA irregularities but decided to back out at the last minute.

While his office was not directly involved in the screening of GCTA applications, senators still grilled him during a hearing for providing legal opinion on whether or not the BuCor chief needs the Department of Justice’s approval to release inmates sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Office of the Ombudsman suspended Santos along with 29 other BuCor officials last September for six months after they allegedly allowed the questionable release of prison convicts under the GCTA law.

The issue on GCTA started after former Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez was supposed to be released from prison last year.

This was because of a new law increasing the GCTA 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 Demetrio 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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