On August 22, students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños staged a protest to call for the blocking of the release of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez. The former Calauan town mayor was convicted on the gruesome rape-slay of UPLB student Eileen Sarmenta. Her companion Allan Gomez, a fellow UPLB student, was also tortured and killed.
The STAR/Ernie Penaredondo
IBP calls for more transparency in evaluating inmates' 'good behavior'
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - August 23, 2019 - 9:52am

MANILA, Philippines — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines raised the government may be more transparent in evaluating the “good conduct” of prisoners who may benefit from the new law of their good conduct and time allowance.

The IBP, the national organization of Philippine lawyers, said they support the public call for a more thorough review of inmates’ cases, especially those convicted on heinous crimes, that may benefit from Republic Act 10592. IBP National President Domingo Egon Cayosa signed the statement.

“RA 10952 was a valid act of Congress and was for good purposes: reformative approach in dealing with criminal offenders and to decongest the overflowing jails,” the IBP said.

RA 10952 expanded the measures for computing the good conduct and time allowance of a prisoner that may be deducted from his imprisonment.

EXPLAINER: Good law, bad man: RA 10592 and rape-slay convict Antonio Sanchez

The lawyers’ association said the government may be more transparent on the basis for and evaluation of an inmate’s “good conduct” and the computation of the shortened time in prison.

 “Uploading these on the websites of the DOJ and of the penal institutions as well as informing the private offended parties and their families much earlier, would be welcome,” the IBP also said.

The  Bureau of Corrections earlier said convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez may be one of the 11,000 prisoners to walk free soon due to the retroactive application of the 2013 law.

The reports of Sanchez's pending release drew strong outrage as the public revisited the horrors of the rape and murder case of University of the Philippines Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.

BuCor Director General Nicanor Faeldon on Thursday, however, said that Sanchez may not walk free soon as they have yet to evaluate his case. He also noted that drugs were seized inside Sanchez's "kubol" or luxurious cottage, that is contradictory to what they consider as "good behavior."

Amend 2013 law?

The IBP also assured that Filipino lawyers will cooperate in the “objective and equal application of the law and its honest to goodness implementation to fully achieve its purposes and spirit.”

“Refinements and safeguards may be introduced in the implementation or through curative legislation,” it added.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Franklin Drilon, a former Justice secretary himself, filed their respective resolutions to conduct a legislative inquiry into the reported eligibility to RA 10592, and subsequent possible release, of Sanchez.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra for his part said that he welcomes the legislative probe and urged the Congress that it may be the time to "review their own creation."

“Anti-corruption, efficiency, and transparency programs in jail management should be relentless pursued,” the IBP added.

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