Duterte spokesman denies hand in looming release of ex-Calauan Mayor Sanchez

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019   •   1182

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Wednesday denied any involvement in the looming release of his former client, former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez.

Panelo was the defense lawyer of Sanchez when he was sentenced to seven terms of reclusion perpetua in 1995 for the rape and murder of student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez in 1993.

Panelo, who is now President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said there is no need for him or anyone else to intervene in the case citing the Republic Act 10592 or the law that increased the Good Conduct Time (GCTA) allowance for inmates.

“Hindi na kailangan ng kahit na sinumang tao na mag-intervene, kasi mayroong batas na,” he said.

Panelo added that he has withdrawn as Sanchez’s legal counsel after the conviction. He also admitted to being happy with the release of his former client.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier announced that Sanchez is among the thousands of inmates who are eligible for recomputation of sentence on the basis of GCTA as provided by the law.

READ: DOJ: Ex-Calauan Mayor Sanchez, thousands others set for release

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he has no reason to believe that Panelo or any other party’s intervention is necessary because prison time records on good conduct had been in existence prior to the ruling of the Supreme Court last June on GCTA’s retroactivity. (Correspondent Rosalie Coz contributed to this report)

Convicted ex-Laguna town mayor Antonio Sanchez passes away

UNTV News   •   March 27, 2021

 

Former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez | Courtesy: PTV

MANILA, Philippines — Ex-Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez passed away on Saturday, March 27, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag announced.

Chaclag said, Sanchez was found unresponsive in his cell at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) at around 7:00 a.m.

“He was brought to the NBP Hospital by his cell mates and was attended to by medical staff. He was declared DOA and subject for autopsy as per procedure on sudden deaths,” the BuCor spokesman said in a statement.

He added that Sanchez was last seen alive on Friday at 10:00 p.m. preparing to sleep. When his cellmates woke him up in morning, the former official was unresponsive.

“There is no sign of foul play. He had existing conditions such as chronic kidney disease, hypertension, recurring gastro enteritis, prostate problems and asthma,” Chaclag said, adding that Sanchez’ family has already been informed of his passing.

Sanchez was convicted for rape and murder of two students in the 1990s. He was sentenced in 1995 to seven terms of reclusion perpetua (or 40 years of imprisonment) over the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta, and the murder of her companion Allan Gomez.

In 2019, reports of his possible early release from jail through the application of good conduct time allowance (GCTA) sparked outrage among the public including several senators.

Following news of the convicted mayor’s demise, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed that as of the time of his death, Sanchez was still not qualified for release.

Gov’t seeks single facility for COVID-19 patients

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 17, 2020

The government is looking for a single facility to house confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to prevent overcrowding in hospitals.

On Monday (March 16), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the recommendation will be discussed in a meeting with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“We are recommending that there should be only one place where we can put all those confirmed cases,” he said.

Panelo said this would lessen the risk of occupational transmission of the virus. He said placing patients in one or two facilities may help in controlling the spread of the disease.

“Baka maubusan tayo ng ospital na paglalagayan (We might run out of hospitals for the patients); and not only that, we are exposing our health workers to the same infection,” he said. — AAC

Duterte, Panelo one-on-one interview deferred anew

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo and President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – The scheduled televised one-on-one interview of President Rodrigo Duterte with his spokesperson Salvador Panelo has been postponed anew.

In a televised advisory, Panelo said the interview with Duterte, which was supposed to be held Tuesday, will be moved to a later date because the president is feeling “under the weather.”

Panelo said it may be rescheduled next week.

The said interview was initially set on January 22 but was postponed due to “pressing matters.”

The president conducted his first televised interview with Panelo in September 2018 where they discussed wide-ranging topics on martial law in Mindanao, reopening of Boracay Island, increasing rice prices, his critic former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, among others. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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