By Martin Sadongdong
General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, provided no objection on Friday on the possible release from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) of former Calauan, Laguna mayor and convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez and 11,000 other inmates.
“That’s what the law provides kasi. We have to follow the rule of law dito kasi iyon ang nakasaad sa batas natin. Mayroon silang posibilidad na makalabas because of good behavior so wala tayong magagawa lalo na kung may utos ang korte,” Albayalde said.
(That’s what the law provides. We have to follow the rule of law here because it’s in the law. There is a possibility that they will be freed because of good behavior so we can’t do anything about it especially if there’s an order from the court.)
Albayalde assured that every move of the inmates outside the NBP will be monitored and they will not hesitate to bring them back behind bars if they commit another wrongdoing.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said that the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law that increases the jail time computation of an inmate for good behavior would lead to the release of 11,000 inmates, which may include Sanchez.
In 1993, Sanchez was convicted for the rape-slay case of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Mary Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of her boyfriend Allan Gomez. Sarmenta was said to be delivered as a “gift” to the ex-Calauan mayor.
The idea of Sanchez being freed due to his supposed good conduct was met with utmost condemnation, especially after it was revealed that he continued to violate rules while inside the NBP.
In 2006, various illegal drugs were seized from his detention cell, while a kilo of shabu was confiscated from him in 2010.
In 2015, authorities also discovered an air conditioning unit, a flat-screen TV and a refrigerator inside his cell.
Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon later clarified that Sanchez’s performance inside the NBP remained under scrutiny after reports of his alleged violations surfaced.
To this, Albayalde replied: “It needs a total review dito at sabi nga natin not only on the law enforcement side but also on the judiciary.”
(lt needs a total review here not only on the law enforcement side but also on the judiciary.)
“Marami tayong kailangan ipakita na talagang ang ating hustisya ay parehas at talagang walang kinikilingan at even us sa law enforcement side kailangan maipakita natin that we are professionals, parehas at walang kinikilingan,” he added.
(We need to prove that the justice system is equal and doesn’t favor anyone, even us in the law enforcement side we need to show that we are professionals, equal and just.)