Vice President Leni Robredo doesn’t believe former Calauan, Laguna Antonio Sanchez deserves to be freed despite insisting on his innocence in the crimes for which he was convicted of rape and murder.
Robredo said Sunday (August 25) that Sanchez’s violations while inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City show he has not changed for the better.
She cited as example of Sanchez’s bad behavior reports that he was caught in possession of illegal drugs in 2010, and the seizure of contraband items inside his cell in 2015.
“Noong may isang surprise inspection na nakuhaan siya ng flat screen na TV, mayroong air-con, eh susmaryosep naman, papaano naipasok sa kulungan, ‘di ba? Bakit kailangang mahuli pa iyon sa surprise inspection?” Robredo said on her weekly show, “Biserbisyong Leni,” over dzXL radio.
The Vice President compared Sanchez’s privileged existence to that of Senator Leila De Lima, who is detained at Camp Crame on drug-related charges.
“Ito, kay Senator Leila de Lima ang kuwento hindi nga siya puwedeng maghawak ng telepono. Parang after two years, puwede na siyang manood ng TV pero parang, kung hindi ako nagkakamali, once a month lang tapos ipi-pre-screen pa nila, parang ipapasok iyong TV para manood lang siya ng isang palabas. Pero ito, grabe may flat screen sa loob,” she said.
Sanchez was convicted in 1995 of rape and murder over the killing of University of the Philippines students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez. He was sentenced to serve seven terrms of reclusion perpetua or imprisonment of up to 40 years.
The former mayor was in the headlines again after Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he could be freed soon because of a 2013 law adjusting the Good Conduct Time Allowance for convicts and a Supreme Court decisison for its retroactive application.
Robredo said she is relieved that Guevarra backtracked on his statement about Sanchez and clarified that he wasn’t eligible for release under Republic Act 10592.