Sen. Drilon, hindi umaasang maging senate president

admin   •   May 20, 2013   •   2796

FILE PHOTO: Senator Franklin Drilon (UNTV News)

FILE PHOTO: Senator Franklin Drilon (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi umano umaasa si Senador Franklin Drilon na mapupunta sa kanya ang senate presidency sa 16th Congress.

Ito ang kanyang naging reaksyon sa pahayag ng kapwa senador na si Miriam Santiago na posibleng ibigay sa kanya ang pinaka-mataas na posisyon sa senado bilang gantimpla sa tinamong tagumpay ng Liberal Party sa katatapos na halalan.

Sinabi ni Drilon na nagsilbing campaign manager ng partido na ang naturang posisyon ay pinagpapasyahan ng mga senador at hindi ng iisang grupo lamang. (UNTV News)

Drilon, Sotto question basis for possible release of ex-Mayor Sanchez

Robie de Guzman   •   August 22, 2019

Senate President Vicente Sotto III (L) and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon (R)

MANILA, Philippines – The possible early release from jail of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for rape and murder of two students in the 1990s, has sparked outrage among the public including several senators.

Sanchez 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.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier said Sanchez might soon walk free due to a 2013 law that increased good conduct time allowance (GCTA) and a Supreme court ruling last June applying this law retroactively.

The application of good conduct time allowance, which reduces the years and days spent in jail has been stated in the Philippine Revised Penal Code.

But under the Republic Act 10592 signed by then President Benigno S. Aquino III in May 2013, the periods that may be credited for good conduct to inmates was expanded.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who was the country’s justice secretary during Sanchez’s conviction, said he was shocked and saddened by the news and questioned the applicability of the new GCTA rule to Sanchez.

READ: Drilon seeks Senate probe on reduced sentence of convicted rapist ex-Mayor Sanchez

Drilon cited the allegations of possession of illegal drugs against Sanchez in 2006 when a prison guard found a packet of shabu and marijuana in his jail cell. In 2010, he was again caught with P1.5 million worth of shabu.

Five years after, authorities seized an air conditioning unit and a television set from his cell.

“Ang balita ay involved siya sa drug trade sa Muntinlupa. Paano naman siya nagkaroon ng allowance for conduct of good behavior? Ang balita pa natin ay mayroon siyang aircon sa kaniyang kulungan. Paano naman naging good conduct ito?” Drilon said.

“Is Mayor Sanchez really qualified under RA 10592? This is a question of fact, so it is best for the Department of Justice to put on hold its decision until these issues are resolved,” he added.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III echoed Drilon’s sentiments.

“Possession of illegal drugs is good behavior?” he asked.

Both senators warned the Bureau of Corrections and the Bureau of Pardon and Parole to carefully compute sentence reduction of Sanchez and the thousands of other inmates who may be eligible for early release under the new rule.

“Kapag sila ay hindi nag-comply sa law o nagkaroon ng maling computation they can be subject to one year imprisonment, P100,000 fine and perpetual disqualification from office pati sa mga nagko-compute ng mali aba ay mananagot pa sila,” Sotto said.

“Kung talagang ipipilit nila, I would assist the Sarmenta family to bring the case before the regular courts. Iku-question natin ang exercise of the discretion to release Antonio Sanchez,” Drilon said.

The two senators have filed separate resolutions calling on their colleagues to probe into the sentence reduction of Sanchez, and amend the provision of the Republic Act 10592 to exclude from the granting of pardon and parole those who were found guilty of committing heinous crimes.

“Basta’t classified na heinous crimes hindi dapat mag-qualify, dapat reclusion perpetua ka tutal ayaw nyo ng death penalty sige reclusion perpetua ka. You die in your cell,” Sotto said. (RRD with details from Grace Casin)

Drilon seeks Senate probe on reduced sentence of convicted rapist ex-Mayor Sanchez

Robie de Guzman   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday said he will file a resolution calling on the Senate to probe the reduction of sentence of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, a rape and murder convict.

Drilon questioned the applicability of the Republic Act 10592 to Sanchez who was previously reported to have been involved in the smuggling of illegal drugs and other contrabands inside his jail cell.

“Ang balita ay involved siya sa drug trade sa Muntinlupa. Paano naman nakaroon siya ng allowance for conduct of good behavior? Ang balita pa natin ay mayroon siyang aircon sa kaniyang kulungan. Paano naman naging good conduct ito?” Drilon said in media interviews.

Drilon cited the allegations of possession of illegal drugs against Sachez in 2006 when a prison guard found a packet of shabu and marijuana in his jail cell. In 2010, he was again caught with P1.5 million worth of shabu.

Five years after, authorities seized an air conditioning unit and a television set from his cell.

Drilon said he wondered how the Bureau of Pardon and Parole arrived in its computation of Sanchez’s good conduct time allowance.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesperson Sonny del Rosario said that the convicted mayor has already served 48 years following the computation of his good conduct time allowance.

“Paano natin mako-consider na good behavior ‘yun? Is Mayor Sanchez really qualified under RA 10592? This is a question of fact, so it is best for the Department of Justice to put on hold its decision until these issues are resolved,” the senator said.

Sanchez was convicted in 1995 for the rape and murder of student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend, Allan Gomez. He has been in jail for 25 years for seven terms of reclusion perpetua.

Drilon was the country’s Justice secretary during Sanchez’s conviction.

“I became close with the Sarmenta family in our efforts to put behind bars Mayor Sanchez and his men. I felt sorry for the Sarmenta and Gomez families. This has reopened old wounds,” he added.

The lawmaker appealed to the Department of Justice to put on hold the release of Sanchez pending the review of his qualifications.

“We appeal to the Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra to hold the release of Sanchez and to review and study carefully if, number one, Sanchez is really entitled to the benefits of RA 10592; and, number two, if he has really exhibited good conduct while he is in prison,” he said.

Drilon backs Lorenzana’s bid to transfer POGOs away from military camps

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday expressed support for the proposal of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to transfer the Philippine Online Gaming Operations (POGO) hubs away from military camps and other vital installations.

In a statement, Drilon said he shares the concerns raised by Lorenzana over the growing presence of Chinese-dominated online gaming hubs and the risks that its proximity to military camps pose.

“I support Sec. Lorenzana’s recommendation on POGO location. The security aspect is something that we cannot just brush aside. I cannot understand why we cannot have POGO locations farther away from military camps,” Drilon said in a TV interview on Monday.

Drilon also described the Chinese embassy’s statement that overseas Filipino workers in China may also be suspected of spying as “absurd and beyond the realm of possibility.”

“Sec. Lorenzana is a competent official and his job is to advise us on matter of security. He has nothing but good intentions. We should defer to him,” he added.

Drilon further stated the possibility that POGO workers could be used for information gathering is not a remote possibility.

“We don’t know. Maybe not right now, but it gives them the opportunity when there’s a need for it. It’s convenient when there is a need for it. Why should we leave that chance unchecked?” he said.

The lawmaker also said there is no way Filipino workers in China could be engaged in spying activities for the Philippines as they are there to earn a living.

Drilon also pointed out how Filipinos were deprived of opportunities to earn a living in the POGO industry, which employs thousands of Chinese workers.

When asked if he would support a total ban of POGO, Drilon replied with: “I would like to think there is certainly great merit into looking at the possibility of closing down POGOs. I am against gambling.”

READ: Malacañang: No risk in POGO hubs near military camps

Malacañang earlier said it sees nothing wrong with the location of POGO hubs near military installations and the creation of self-contained communities of foreign workers as long as it doesn’t violate the law.

However, the Palace said it would defer to National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon to assess any security issue being posed by the foreign operated online gaming operations.

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