This week, news came out that convicted rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez could be released early from New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. Sanchez was mayor of Calauan, Laguna in 1993. He was sentenced to seven terms of reclusion perpetua (40 years per term in prison, amounting to 280 years) for the rape-slay of Eileen Sarmenta, a student from University of the Philippines Los Baños, and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez.
Sanchez has only served 24 years. But according to a Supreme Court decision, Sanchez, along with other inmates, could be freed under the new law on Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA). Based on the new law, sentences of inmates jailed in the 1990s could be slashed by up to 19 years.
Many netizens vented on social media—including celebs. Check out what the stars had to say:
Antoinette Jadaone shared an Instagram post outlining the gruesome things Sanchez did to students Eileen and Allan.
“This is pure EVIL,” Angel Locsin commented on Antoinette’s post.
“Nasusuka ako,” Angelica Panganiban replied on Antoinette’s post.
"KARIMARIMARIM," wrote Iza Calzado, again on Antoinette's post.
Sunshine Cruz, who portrayed Eileen Sarmenta in the 1993 movie Humanda Ka, Mayor!: Bahala Na Ang Diyos, wrote on Facebook, “To those people saying that Sanchez deserves to be freed, think twice.”
“I was in the seventh grade when Mayor Sanchez killed Eileen Sarmenta,” recalls Quark Henares. "That’s when I first heard about pedophilia and gang rape, and when I realized the world was not a nice place."
Singer Bituin Escalante complained, “How can he possibly get off on good behavior? They found a kilo of shabu stashed in the statue of the Virgin Mary in his cell back in 2010.”
Yesterday, after much outrage online and staged protests, Malacañang stated that Sanchez is not eligible for an early release, saying GCTA excludes “persons charged with heinous crimes,” which applies to Sanchez.
Sanchez was convicted on March 11, 1995. His crime was described by Judge Harriet Demetriou as “a plot seemingly hatched in hell.”