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By Prince Golez

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday denied he recommended executive clemency for rape and murder convict Antonio Sanchez.

Panelo made this remark Tuesday after Bureau of Pardons and Parole executive director Reynaldo Bayang said the chief presidential legal counsel wrote a referral letter on the clemency request for Sanchez.

“We find it unfortunate that this representations’ referral letter to the Board of Pardons and Parole Executive Director Reynaldo G. Bayang, dated February 16, 2019 is unwittingly and erroneously and even maliciously being reported as a recommendation letter for the executive clemency for former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez as written by,” according to him.

“It has been the standard operating procedure of the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel to respond to all and I mean ‘all letters’ received by it and refer them to the appropriate department or agency which has the authority to act on the writers concern,” he added.

Panelo, who served as one of the defense lawyer of Sanchez in the 1993 rape-murder case of University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez, maintained that there is nothing in his referral letter that is an intervention.

“The referral letter of Mrs. Marie Antonelvie J.Sanchez, who happened to be the daughter of former Mayor Sanchez, to the Board of Pardons and Parole is just one of the thousands of referrals this office has made to various government instrumentalities,” he said.

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