World March of Women – Pilipinas Statement
Mayor Antonio Sanchez, convicted rapist, and murderer, clearly did not demonstrate good behavior while in jail. He was found to be in possession of illegal drugs in 2006. After 4 years, he was caught with a kilogram of shabu hidden in a Virgin Mary statue. And in 2015, an air conditioning unit and flat-screen TV were seized from his cell.
It is perhaps not a coincidence that Salvador Panelo, now President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, was one of Sanchez’s defense lawyers in the 1993 rape-murder case of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the death of companion Allan Gomez. Neither is it a coincidence that this threat of release of Calauan Mayor is happening under the Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon, who was disgraced following the congressional hearings on the smuggling of P6.4-billion worth of shabu in 2017.
We assert that Sanchez should serve his full seven terms of multiple sentences. Let not this administration use this controversy to push for capital punishment, which has victimized the poor and innocent in the past. Just the administration of accountability is needed to deter similar crimes, not the death penalty. This has been proven time and again in various states, and by sociological studies.
No to Sanchez’s release!
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