Rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez’s impending release brings back painful memories

August 22, 2019 - 7:17 PM
Rape-slay case 1993
Handcuffs from Unsplash

Some people shared how the possible release of convicted rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez brings back the trauma of the notorious crime he committed that caused public uproar back then.

Sanchez, a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna, became the subject of one headline after another after he murdered and raped Eileen Sarmenta and ordered the killing of her boyfriend Allan Gomez in 1993.

After 16 months, he was convicted and sentenced to seven counts of reclusion perpetua, which was supposed to be equivalent to 360 years of imprisonment.

Desiree Carlos, who introduced herself as a former reporter of a local paper, recalled horrific parts of the testimonies she got from the medical reports of the bodies when she was tasked to handle the story that time.

“Why do I remember these details? I put together or edited 15-20 stories coming from the field from reporters who covered the investigation on the Sarmenta-Gomez rape-slay. I was the deskman handling this story every day for so many disturbing days for me,” she said on Facebook.

You want that former Calauan Mayor Sanchez released?Think again, please. Here are the facts that came out from…

Posted by Desiree Carlos on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Carlos noted that these types of information had triggered her anxiety attacks since then.

“In one of those afternoons I was putting together all stories for a front page story as deskman of Malaya, I had my first panic or anxiety attack. Since then I have had to deal with anxiety attacks. I was diagnosed only a few years ago as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD,” part of her narrative stated.

Facebook user Ong Jas, who shared he personally saw Sarmenta when she was a grade school student, likewise expressed his fury against Sen. Ronald Bato dela Rosa, who sought to give Sanchez a “second chance.”

“I last saw Eileen Sarmenta in grade school. I was already a junior copywriter at HLB when I next heard of her. Or, rather, of the gruesome fate she shared with Allan Gomez. To wake up 26 years later to news that Antonio Sanchez, Eileen’s rapist-murderer, may be set free is like waking up to a nightmare. I am sickened to my very core,” Jas said on Facebook.

I am so very angry right now, I can't stop crying.I last saw Eileen Sarmenta in grade school. I was already a junior…

Posted by Ong Jas on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Jas lamented that the torture Sanchez and his men executed to Sarmenta and Gomez before killing them were downplayed into “computed formulas” for Sanchez’ supposed “good behavior.”

“Antonio Sanchez is a monster. No formulas, no equations, no calculations will ever be enough to justify his parole. And Bato is as big a monster, if not bigger, for defending this travesty of justice,” she said.

Sanchez would be among the thousands of inmates who could benefit from the retroactive application of Republic Act 10592 or a measure that reduces jail sentences in exchange of good behavior based on a Supreme Court decision last June.

This development earned public outrage from Filipinos who questioned his supposed good behavior after he reportedly committed several violations such as using illegal drugs while in prison.

So far, several lawmakers have objected to the criminal’s release and urged the justice department to conduct a review of his qualifications.

Prior to this controversy, Sanchez was also being tried for the deaths of his political rival Nelson Peñalosa and his son Rickson.

Online petition

An online petition directed to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra sought to stop the agency from allowing Sanchez, a convicted rapist and murderer, from walking free.

“We petition the Department of Justice to stop Sanchez’s release and affirm his seven life sentences. He used his power and position to kidnap, rape and murder. His actions terrorized a university and an entire town. For full justice to be served, he must remain incarcerated for the duration of his lifetime,” the petition from Change.org read.

So far, it has 57,700 of the needed 75,000 signatures. You may sign the petition here for free.

Meanwhile, the UP Office of the Student Regent aired their condemnation for the pending discharge to Sanchez.

The group also cited the statements of Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, who was Sanchez’s previous lawyer back then, and Dela Rosa as sufficient reasons to not allow the entry of the police and the military inside schools.

“It is hypocrisy for them to say that they care for the students when they can’t even side with us in calling for justice for our fellow UP students. This is one clear example as to why we oppose the entry and operations of the police and military in our campuses. Having a long history of abducting and killing students, it is only right and just that these forces are barred from the university,” the Facebook post read.


Posted by UP Office of the Student Regent on Wednesday, August 21, 2019