Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa said the possible release of rape and murder convict, former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, could have been averted if capital punishment still existed in the country.
Dela Rosa made the statement as he renewed his push to pass the proposed law restoring the death penalty following reports of the early release of the former mayor based on good conduct in prison.
Sanchez was convicted for the rape-slay of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of her companion Allan Gomez.
“Kung sa akin lang kung ganyan ka-heinous ang krimen na ginawa niya (Sanchez) dapat binitay na siya noon diba, kung may death penalty na noon nabitay na yan… pero wala tayong magawa… (If it were up to me, he should be hanged for committing such heinous crime. If the death penalty existed then, he should have been hanged. But we can’t do anything),” dela Rosa said.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m just on the side of the law. Andyan yang batas (RA 10592) na yan, dapat respetuhin natin, sundin natin (But the law exists, and it must be respected and observed),” he added.
Dela Rosa was referring to the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) or Republic Act 10592 which deducts an inmate’s prison sentence due to good behavior.
Some senators questioned the validity of releasing Sanchez considering that he was sentenced seven counts of reclusion perpetua and was caught with millions worth of shabu in his cell and lavish lifestyle while serving his term.
Dela Rosa said the Department of Justice, through the Board of Pardons and Parole, should explain to the public the computation of Sanchez’s jail term based on the GCTA.
“Well tanungin natin yung Board of Pardons and Parole na nagre-recommend niyan at yung sa loob ng Bureau of Corrections kung paano nila na compute, ang alam ko meron yang computation, may corresponding GCTA yan kung ilan days ang mababawas sa sintensya mo (We should ask the Board of Pardons and Parole and the Bureau of Corrections how they computed his jail term. I know there is a computation and a corresponding GCTA on how many days will be deducted from your sentence),” dela Rosa said. (PNA)
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