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Gabriela HK joins outcry against release of Filipino murderer and rapist

23 August 2019

By The SUN

Women’s rights group Gabriela Hong Kong has joined the uproar over the planned release from jail of former mayor Antonio Sanchez who was sentenced to seven life sentences in 1995 for the gruesome murder and rape of a young student and the killing of her boyfriend.

The group urged the public to block Sanchez’s release, saying he remains a danger to society, especially to women.
Prison officials say Sanchez (in orange) is still in prison (Inquirer photo)
Sanchez, who was mayor of Calauan, Laguna when he raped Eileen Sarmenta and had her killed along with her boyfriend Alan Gomez in 1993, was reportedly about to be released for supposed good conduct while in jail.

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This is said to be in line with Republic Act No. 10592, which increased the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) accorded to inmates.

But Gabriela HK asked, “Did money talk in this case?”
The group pointed out that RA 10592 excludes criminals convicted of “heinous crimes” so Sanchez should not benefit from it.

It also decried that under President Duterte’s rule, high-profile criminals like Sanchez, Imelda Marcos, Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada were either released or exonerated while human rights activists and government critics are either harassed or locked up on trumped-up charges.
“We cannot allow this travesty of justice to happen,” said Gabriela HK. “What kind of justice do we have where the innocents are jailed and killed but the guilty get away with heinous crimes?”

Sanchez during his trial in 1995
The group pointed out that while in prison, Sanchez continued his criminal acts. He was found with a kilo of shabu or ice worth P1.5 million inside a statue of the Virgin Mary in his jail cell in 2010. Five years later, he was found to have kept illegal appliances in his cell, like an air conditioning unit and a flat-screen TV.

These, after his trial exposed that Sanchez had caused his henchmen to abduct Sarmenta, then raped her. Not content with this, Sanchez turned over the young girl to his bodyguards, who proceeded to gang-rape, then kill her. Gomez was tortured by the group before being killed, and his body left by the roadside.

After a 16-month trial, Sanchez was given seven life sentences, making a total of 360 years. Recent news reports say Sanchez was convicted of two other murder charges afterwards, making his sentence a total of nine life imprisonments.

Gabriela HK said prison authorities should not be allowed to violate the law by releasing Sanchez.
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