Fired, finally
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - September 6, 2019 - 12:00am

It must be hard for the families of Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez to listen to the wife of convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez defiantly state they have no intention or plans to indemnify the victims' families in the amount of more than P12 million because they believe the former mayor to be innocent of the crimes. The wife and children were asked if civil damages have been paid to the two families at the Senate hearing last Tuesday. The wife even reiterated their alibi that on the day Eileen and Allan were killed, Sanchez was home with her. But the Supreme Court has already disproven this and upheld the sentences against Sanchez. The DOJ will study the possibility of helping the private prosecutors enforce the indemnities due the two families. Presidential spokesman and chief legal counsel also thinks failure to do so would extend Sanchez' incarceration.

But keep in mind that in the Philippines a convict can only serve a maximum of 40 years no matter how many life sentences he has. For example, Sanchez was convicted of seven reclusion perpetua terms but apparently only needs to serve 40 years. Other countries state that these life sentences should be served consecutively, which is to say they will never get out of prison. So Sanchez could be serving 280 years in prison. Clearly the law must be studied and changed to serve the greater good of the people.

President Duterte has finally fired BuCor director general Nicanor Faeldon Wednesday afternoon over the raging controversy of Sanchez' near release, along with the release of 1,914 inmates convicted of various heinous crimes since 2014. Hopefully, Duterte doesn't recycle Faeldon for the fourth time just to give a friend a position in the government. Duterte also ordered all those convicted of heinous crimes released under the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law to voluntarily surrender and return to prison to serve out their sentences. He has given them 15 days to do so, otherwise they will become fugitives. He also promises to put a P1 million bounty on each of their heads, dead or alive. The DOJ had to clarify this particular statement, stating that deadly force will only be used in the event of violently resisting re-arrest. These include those convicted in the Chiong sisters case and just recently the five UP fratmen convicted for killing Dennis Venturina in 1994, and many more. Thank God Antonio Sanchez remains in prison, even as his family moved heaven and earth to try and secure his freedom. The PNP have their marching orders on this one.

This is a huge headache for the administration. There are those who insist it is not possible to re-arrest those already freed under GCTA. If Faeldon was sacked because of this controversy, then previous BuCor director generals since 2014 must also be investigated for the release of heinous crime convicts during their terms, including Senator Dela Rosa who admitted 120 convicts including one drug lord were released under his watch. Like I said, a giant headache.

EILEEN SARMENTA
Philstar
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