Friday, July 30, 2021

Tell it to SunStar: Deeper probe on Sanchez’s release order

PUWERSA ng Bayaning Atleta Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said Congress should conduct a deeper probe on allegations behind the circumstances behind the controversy involving convicted rapist-killer former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez.

Nograles said there are three major issues that needs to be clarified in this investigation:

1. The truth behind claims by the family of Sanchez that his release papers have already been signed and approved.

2. Even before reports of his impending release on the basis of good behavior came about, he was already reported to have been seen roaming around freely outside of the National Bilibid Prison.

3. The connection of Sanchez release issue with Ruperto Traya Jr., chief of the Bureau of Correction’s (BuCor) Inmate’s Document Processing Division.

Nograles said that there is a need to find out the truth behind the claim of Sanchez’s family that a release order has been in fact signed even before the news of the former mayor’s imminent release broke out. They claimed that Sanchez was supposed to have been released on Aug. 20, 2019 being a beneficiary of the so-called Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) provided under Republic Act 10592.

“We need to know the existence of this document and who signed it. Too bad one of the people who can apparently shed light on this was murdered last Wednesday (Aug. 28),” Nograles said, referring to Traya.

Nograles has officially requested from BuCor Director Nicanor Faeldon the list of all inmates who who have been released, who benefited from the GCTA law from 2013 to the present, as he noted that the controversy on the supposed release of Sanchez might just be a small part of a bigger conspiracy.

“With the news that four convicted drug lords were allegedly released, the immediate investigation of any abuse of this law passed in President Noynoy Aquino’s time is necessary,” Nograles said.

“I have personally written to Director General Faeldon for a list of names of all those convicts released under the GCTA law from 2013 to the present, but my request has been denied by his executive assistant for the protection of the released convicts. According to Faeldon’s office, my only remedy is to get a court order for his office to comply with my inquiry,” Nograles added.

Nograles said that if it is true that former mayor Sanchez, who was convicted for rape and multiple counts of murder, has been enjoying the life of a free man instead of suffering for his crimes, the credibility of the country’s justice system is in serious question.

The families of victims of heinous crimes might completely lose their faith in the country’s justice system and resort to extrajudicial measures to seek justice.

“If it is true that former mayor Sanchez has been spending time outside of the Bilibid, somebody must be held accountable. We really have to get to the bottom of this,” Nograles said.


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