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.