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Rapist, murderer Sanchez continues to feign innocence

Some senators express shock over Sanchez's impending release

Murder and rape convict Antonio Sanchez shows his prison cell in this February 1999 photo. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Rape and murder convict Antonio Sanchez, once the powerful mayor of a small town in Laguna, continued to deny the crimes for which he is serving at least seven life sentences.

Sanchez continued to insist he was framed for the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her boyfriend Alan Gomez. Both were students of the University of the Philippines Los Banos.

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“The real story there, there’s a love triangle,” Sanchez said at an interview with ABS-CBN TV patrol from his cell at the New Bilibid Prison on Friday (Aug. 23).

“Let those who may die die if I am guilty,” the former mayor added.

Asked by the network about his health, Sanchez took the chance to try to win sympathy, saying he was suffering from hypertension and complications from a heart disease.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., a lawyer, said the “shit”, referring to Sanchez, should just be shot in the back of the head in a display of rage at reports that the former mayor of Calauan town, Laguna province would soon be a free man. Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go advised Sanchez not to seek freedom anymore because he would be “safer” inside jail.

“I’m really sick,” said the mayor in his usual shrill voice. “I have high blood. I have problems with my heart in the morning and also at night,” he said in Filipino.

On Tuesday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Sanchez and over 10,000 detainees may be released soon as a result of Republic Act No. 10592 or the law that increased the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) of convicts serving time in jail.

The GCTA provided additional time to be deducted from an inmate’s prison sentence as a reward for his or her good behavior.

READ: Antonio Sanchez, more than 10k other inmates to get out of prison ‘soon’

Days later, however, Guevarra and Bureau of Corrections Director General Nicanor Faeldon said Sanchez was not eligible for the benefits of the law and was not likely to be freed soon.

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The apparent reversal came amid outrage over reports that Sanchez would soon be a free man.

READ: DOJ, BuCor: Sanchez ineligible for release

Sanchez was sentenced to seven life terms in a case described by the judge who handed down the sentence and guilty verdict, Harriet Demetriou, as a “plot seemingly hatched in hell.”

Sanchez had been detained at the NBP in Muntinlupa City after his conviction on March 14, 1995, or just 24 years ago.

According to case records, Sarmenta was given as a “gift” to Sanchez, who raped her and passed her on to his security aides who continued the rape and shot Sarmenta after they were done with her. Gomez was beaten up and eventually shot to death on orders of Sanchez.

Sanchez was one of the former clients of now Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who is also chief presidential legal counsel./tsb

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TAGS: Antonio Sanchez, Bureau of Corrections, Calauan, Department of Justice, Eileen Sarmenta, Laguna, Muntinlupa, Nation, New Bilibid Prison, news, Philippine news updates, rape-slay
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