LIVE: Senate probe into aborted release of Antonio Sanchez – Day 4
PhilstarLIVE ( - September 9, 2019 - 10:30am

MANILA, Philippines — Senators resumed the joint hearing into the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance law and the blocked release of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez.

The public hearings are led by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon, along with the Senate committees on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes; Public Order and Dangerous Drugs; and Finance chaired by Senators. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Sonny Angara, respectively.

At the previous hearings, the senators discussed the amendment of the GCTA law, a penal act which allows shortening of sentences of inmates based on the good behavior they displayed while in jail.

Reports of the pending release of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez prompted the public hearings.

Sanchez, also a former Calauan, Laguna, was sentenced to seven life terms of up to 40 years of imprisonment for the rape and murder of University of the Philippines Los Baños student Eileen Sarmenta and her boyfriend Allan Gomez in 1993.

He was about to set free over his GCTA record last month, triggering a public outcry against his release. The controversy prompted the government to recall his release order.

The Senate also questioned the role of now sacked Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon who approved the release of some convicts who committed heinous crimes.

Last Thursday, witness Yolanda Camelon testified before the Senate and claimed there is a “GCTA for sale” racket at the New Bilibid Prison, where inmates pay officials to gain freedom.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said two more witnesses will attend the hearing on Monday to testify on "GCTA for sale" racket.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier asked the Ombudsman to investigate the officials of the BuCor for possible corruption amid the implementation of GCTA.

Watch the hearing LIVE starting 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.

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