The University of the Philippines System Gender and Development (GAD) Committee and Offices of Anti-Sexual Harassment condemn in the strongest terms the possible release from prison of convicted rapist and murderer, ex-Calauan Mayor Antonio L. Sanchez. We are outraged that the perpetrator of crimes so heinous they were described by presiding Judge Harriet Demetriou as a “plot seemingly hatched in hell,” will benefit from the retroactive application of R.A. 10592, which increases the time allowances for good conduct among prisoners resulting in the reduction of their jail sentences.
In 1995, Pasig RTC Judge Demetriou found Sanchez and six of his men guilty in the 1993 rape-murder of Eileen Sarmenta, and the murder of Allan Gomez, both of whom were UP students. The sentence imposed was seven terms of reclusion perpetua and P11.3 million in damages for the students’ families. This decision was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1999.
We demand proof of “good conduct” for any consideration for his release. In 2010, it came to public attention that Sanchez was caught with P1.5 million worth of shabu inside a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in his cell at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, and is allegedly involved in the drug trade in Muntinlupa.
We recognize the potential of R.A. 10592 to benefit political prisoners and low-income individuals who have been unjustly incarcerated due to lack of access to adequate legal representation. The crimes committed by Sanchez are so heinous that he should not qualify for any release. Seeing him walk free gravely defiles our ideals of justice.
Current Philippine conditions have shown how lives have become expendable through extrajudicial killings and how women are dehumanized by persistent attacks that legitimize misogyny and sexism. The release of Sanchez from prison will further reinforce the cheapening of human lives.
We vehemently oppose any release for Sanchez from the New Bilibid Prison and demand that he serves his full sentence.