Good conduct?
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - August 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Who in his right mind would be okay with the impending release of former Calauan, Laguna mayor Antonio Sanchez? This news set ablaze both print and social media. More than ten thousand prisoners may be set free including Sanchez because of "good conduct". In other words, they were good, ideal, and model prisoners. A law in 2013 credits good conduct during imprisonment. So the more than ten thousand are supposedly eligible for release based on computations of their so-called good conduct. Right.

Sanchez was convicted of raping and murdering Eileen Sarmenta, a student in UP Los Baños. Her companion, Allan Gomez, was also killed. I will not repeat the details of the demonic crime committed by him and his cohorts, a crime that shocked the nation in the ‘90s. He was sentenced to seven 40-year terms. That is to say he must be imprisoned until his natural death. What kind of computation would result in freedom for a prisoner who was sentenced to seven 40-year terms? Why is he even eligible? And surprise, surprise, some of those who testified against Sen. Leila de Lima will also enjoy freedom, again because of good conduct. Sen. De Lima, on the other hand, remains incarcerated.

Let's talk about good conduct. Those who testified against De Lima had all sorts of contraband inside their cells. Officials seized TVs, airconditioners, sound systems, cellphones, complete kitchens appliances such as microwaves, stoves, and ovens, a complete sound studio with musical instruments band-owned studios, even a jacuzzi was already being constructed. All these aside form guns, cash, and drugs. Drugs. Is that good conduct? According to the ABS-CBN news website, Sanchez was caught trying to bring in illegal drugs hidden inside a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 2010. Is that "good conduct"? Or is it because it was hidden within the statue of the Virgin that makes it "good"? I thought this administration hates drugs. If Sanchez is released, is everyone certain he will not be involved in illegal drugs? And who would want this guy as their neighbor?

That law must vet those who are truly eligible for freedom. They need to review the crimes for which they were imprisoned and find out if they were truly "good". What is the point of sentencing a person for numerous terms if he can apparently be eligible for parole or pardon? DOJ Sec. Guevarra has ordered a review of inmates imprisoned for heinous crimes such as rape with homicide, multiple murder and illegal drug pushing. I'm no expert in the law, but if an inmate was sentenced to seven counts of reclusion perpetua, then shouldn't they serve time for the rest of their natural lives? The possible release of Sanchez and others has enraged a nation once more. Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez's parents and relatives are obviously not happy about it. Only one person seems to have come to the defense of Sanchez, saying he's a changed man and deserves a second chance. Sen. Dela Rosa. I wonder, the thousands of Tokhang victims don't?

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