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‘Matuto kang rumespeto!’ Bato fumes as student leader slams support for Antonio Sanchez’s release

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Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa lost his cool at a Senate hearing Thursday (August 22) after a student leader dissed him for supporting the release of convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez.

Dela Rosa scolded National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) president Raoul Manuel after he alluded to Dela Rosa’s support for freeing Sanchez during the Senate hearing on the revival of mandatory Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program for senior high school students.

Ang layo naman ng sinasabi mo mister. Kasama ba yan dito sa hearing yong comment ko na yon? Ang layo naman. That’s an affront,” Dela Rosa told Manuel.

“Ikaw na estudyante ka dapat matuto kang mag respeto kahit sa isang senador man lang na nandito sa hearing na ito. Huwag mong tirahin sa ibang ‘isyu na hindi kasama dito ha,” the senator added.

Dela Rosa insisted that his support for Sanchez’s release was anchored on the law.

There are rumors that Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna, may be released soon because of a 2013 law reducing the jail terms of prisoners who exhibited good behavior.

Sanchez was meted seven terms of reclusion perpetua or 40-year imprisonment over the rape and killing of Eileen Sarmenta, a student at the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1993.

He was also found guilty of killing Allan Gomez, Sarmenta’s companion.

“Did you na ako mismo gusto kong bitayin yang Sanchez na iyan ha? I am for death penalty. Kung may death penalty noon dapat nabitay na yang Sanchez na iyan. Pero kayo naman ayaw niyo ng death penalty. Ngayon bigyan ng second chance dahil na-reform na iyong tao [and] according to the computation eligible siya for pardon ayaw na naman niyo!” Dela Rosa told Manuel.

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