Sanchez won't be part of elderly convicts to be freed: BuCor
The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Friday assured the public that former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez will not be included in the list of elderly inmates to be released.
In a radio interview, BuCor spokesperson Col. Gabriele Chaclag said Sanchez was not included in the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) for possible release to help the bureau decongest its jails and reduce chances for prisoners to be infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“That is fake news. There is no process that BuCor is now doing and we did not receive any communication from other agencies like DOJ (Department of Justice) or the courts regarding his release,” Chaclag said.
“But we are doing some process which elderly will benefit from the relaxed guidelines done by DOJ,” he added.
Sanchez is facing nine counts of reclusion perpetua for the rape and killing of UP Los Banos student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend, Allan Gomez, in 1993.
Chaclag said based on the DOJ guidelines, strict and stringent requirements were waived under the relaxed guidelines for this pandemic disease period.
Although Sanchez is 71 years old, he will not benefit from the guidelines as he is convicted for a heinous crime.
“He will not be considered (for release)” Chaclag said.
Chaclag said those who are qualified are still need to undergo the proper process.
“Despite their age, if we saw that they are still capable to commit problems in the society, they will not be included in the process,” he said.
“We assure the public that the process being done right now is according to the law and according to the public’s acceptance,” he said.
Last year, Sanchez made news after he was granted Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) or early release beyond his sentence. Authorities said those who convicted heinous crimes should not be granted of such benefit.
Meanwhile, Chaclag said their regional penitentiaries remain COVID-free.
“We would like to inform the families of PDLs under BuCor’s care, except for NBP (New Bilibid Prison) and CIW
(Corrections Institution for Women) are still considered COVID-free,” he said.
BuCor has 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including three deaths in the NBP in Muntinlupa and CIW in Mandaluyong.
Last April, DOJ paved the way for simplified requirements and processing of application for parole and executive clemency for certain inmates as part of an effort to address overcrowding and control the spread of virus.
In a resolution approved by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra last April 15, 2020, the Board of Pardons and Parole relaxed the rules and removed most documentary requirements, except for court certifications that an inmate has no pending cases and appeals, and a check by the National Bureau of Investigation. Ella Dionisio/DMS