WATCH: Bato scolds NUSP president for mentioning Sanchez during ROTC probe
Rosette Adel ( - August 22, 2019 - 9:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Thursday got furious after a member of the National Union of Students of the Philippines mentioned his stance on the looming release of convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez during a Senate public hearing into the revival of Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

Student leader, Dela Rosa clash

NUSP member Raoul Manuel, a resource person on the hearing into the proposed mandatory ROTC bill, said it would be hard to uphold law enforcement and rights awareness if there is a senator who believes that “it is okay” to release a rapist and murderer like Sanchez.

The student group leader also mentioned the drug suspects killed in Oplan Tokhang, formerly initiated Dela Rosa, when he was the Philippine National Police chief.

Manuel did not name Dela Rosa during the hearing but he was referring to the senator who mentioned in a television interview that Sanchez “deserves a second chance.”

The Department of Justice early this week said Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna would likely walk free because of a reduced prison term for good behavior while incarcerated.

Sanchez was sentenced to seven life terms or up to 40 years in prison for the rape-slay University of the Philippines Los Baños student Mary Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of her boyfriend UPLB student Allan Gomez in 1993.

Dela Rosa on Wednesday sided with the possible release of Sanchez.

After Manuel’s remark, Dela Rosa then lost his cool and chided the student leader for mentioning an unrelated matter to the hearing that discusses ROTC.

“Ang layo naman ng sinasabi mo. Kasama ba yan sa hearing yung comment na yun? Ang layo naman. That’s an affront,” Dela Rosa said.

(What you are saying is unrelated. Is that comment included in the hearing? That’s unrelated.)

Dela Rosa deemed Manuel's remarks as a "personal attack" against him.

Sen. Pia Cayetano also said Manuel could’ve used another venue to air his reaction against Dela Rosa.

After the hearing, Dela Rosa explained that he was “insulted” over Manuel’s remarks which he said was “unrelated” and irrelevant to the topic.



For his part, Manuel apologized to the committee. He said he “just relayed the students' sentiments.”

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