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Palace says Sanchez unqualified for early release

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Malacañang Palace

Malacañang on Friday said former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, a convicted rapist and murderer, is ineligible for an early release.

“The inevitable conclusion is that all those convicted of a heinous crime, including Mr. Antonio Sanchez, would be ineligible and disqualified from availing the benefits of the good conduct time allowance,” presidential spokesman Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement.

The spokesman, who was the ex-mayor’s lawyer in the 1993 rape-slay case, earlier denied that he had anything to do with his planned release.

Mr. Sanchez was convicted of seven counts of rape with homicide and sentenced in 1995 to seven life terms for the rape and murder of two University of the Philippines students in 1993.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Thursday said the Bureau of Corrections would evaluate the qualifications of Mr. Sanchez.

Early this week, he said the convict along with thousands of other inmates would be released for good conduct. Their release, he added, could not be appealed.




Several senators, including Senator Franklin M. Drilon opposed the plan and said they would investigate it. Mr. Drilon was the Justice secretary who prosecuted Mr. Sanchez back then.

Also on Friday, the Supreme Court said it had not ordered Mr. Sanchez’s early release.

The court earlier issued a ruling allowing a law that cuts the sentence on convicts with good conduct to apply to cases before it took effect.

In a statement, the tribunal said its decision was based on the judicial doctrine that laws should be applied retroactively when they favor the accused. — Charmaine A. Tadalan and Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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