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Palace says hands tied over early Sanchez release: We cannot oppose a law

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By Prince Golez

Malacañang’s hands are tied on the possible early release of former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez who was convicted for the rape and murder of two university students.

“Basta, until the law is there, you cannot do anything. You have to amend the law. The wisdom of that law, we’ll have to address it to the lawmakers,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Thursday.

Panelo, who served as one of the lawyers of Sanchez in his 1993 rape-slay case, was referring to the Republic Act (RA) 10592, a law that grants time allowances for prisoners for good conduct.

Asked if they would oppose Sanchez’s possible release, the spokesman said: “The Palace cannot oppose a law. The Palace can only implement a law. If we have any concern on the wisdom of the law, then it should be addressed to lawmakers. That law was passed during the administration of President Benigno Aquino (III).”

Panelo added that Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the reevaluation of good conduct time allowances of high profile cases.

“That is why I have been saying dapat yung committee whoever is in charge they should consider everything. There is already, di ba sabi ni Secretary Guevarra, I have ordered a reevaluation of the people involved in high profile cases so ongoing,” according to him.

Senator Franklin Drilon, who was the Justice secretary when Sanchez was convicted, appealed to the Department of Justice to put on hold the impending release of Sanchez. The applicability of RA 10592 to Sanchez is questionable, he added.

“Ang balita ay involved siya sa drug trade sa Muntinlupa. Paano naman nakaroon siya ng allowance for conduct of good behavior? Ang balita pa natin ay mayroon siyang aircon sa kaniyang kulungan. Paano naman naging good conduct ito?” Drilon said.

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