By Marjaleen Ramos
The release papers of convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez were reportedly signed by Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Nicanor Faeldon.
This was revealed by GMA News Friday night, as it showed a document it obtained, dated August 20, 2019, which was a release order for an inmate named Antonio Leyva Sanchez.
The document said Sanchez, “who was found to have served 40 years upon retroactive application of RA No. 10592 and was certified to have no other legal cause to be further detained, shall be released from confinement.”
Faeldon earlier denied any release order had been made in favor of Sanchez, who is serving seven terms of reclusion perpetua at the New Bilibid Prison for the rape-slay of Eileen Sarmenta and and her boyfriend Allan Gomez in 1993.
The former Caluan, Laguna mayor was also convicted of two counts of murder for the 1991 killing of Nelson Penalosa and his son Rickson, the supporters of the political rival of Sanchez.
But with the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) applied in his case, Sanchez would have already served 49 years and eight months, beyond his maximum sentence of 40 years.
Faeldon also said that, as far as the law was concerned, Sanchez does not qualify to benefit from the GCTA law as it excluded those who have been convicted of committing heinous crimes.
“I do not want to preempt the recommendation of the management and screening and evaluation committee who will be the one in charge of reviewing his records and recommend it for approval. But the law is very specific. RA 10952 says in Section 1 that those who are charged of heinous crimes are excluded from the act itself,” he explained.
“It also refers back to Article 29 (of the Revised Penal Code) which is described in Section 1 that prohibits the inclusion of those who have committed heinous crime. So that alone, any convicted or accused of heinous crime may not qualify,” Faeldon added.
The family of Sanchez also earlier revealed that the former mayor was set to be freed on August 20, and that they were actually supposed to fetch him at the New Bilibid Prison on that date. But their plans were put on hold because of the public outrage that questioned the former mayor’s release.
This prompted the government to call for a review of the implementation of the GCTA law.