Press Release
August 22, 2019

Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

Q: On Mayor Sanchez

Drilon: Sa akin po, disqualified siya. Bakit? Sa ating implementing rules and regulation, good conduct is defined as conspicuous and satisfactory behavior, which involves active participation in a rehabilitation program, coupled with faithful observance of the rules of the detention. Doon pa lang hindi siya pwedeng mag-qualify for good conduct. Bad behavior siya because he was reported to be involved in shabu trading in Muntinlupa. Ang premise noong good conduct time allowance is, as the rule says, ay conspicuous and satisfactory behavior na kasama ka sa rehabilitation programs at compliance sa rules ng detention. He does not qualify there. So doon pa lang ay hindi na siya kasama sa mag-avail ng good conduct time allowance. Bakit siya sinama kaya na-reduced yung sentence. It's wrong. Kaya I asked the DOJ to defer consideration of the application of Mayor Sanchez until this issue is clarified. In my reading of what was reported, he is not qualified because of his involvement in drug trade, so he must serve his full sentence.

For the record, he was sentenced for seven life terms. We charged him with conspiracy to rape and kill Sarmenta and Gomez. Under the law, the act of one is the act of all in a conspiracy. Since each of the accused is convicted for 40 years, theoretically, seven life terms ans sentensya ng bawat isa - that's 280 years, except that there is a law, the Revised Penal Code, na nagsasabi na ang maximum na makulong ang isang tao ay 40 years. That is why he was supposed to serve 40 years. Having said that, he should serve the full sentence. Hindi naman siya dapat kasama sa good conduct allowance.

Q: Nasa batas ba yung parang mayroong offenses na disqualified ang ganito na offense?

Drilon: Very general. There is no specific offense. It says, good conduct refers to the conspicuous and satisfactory behavior of a detention or convicted prisoner consisting of active involvement in rehabilitation programs, productive participation in authorized work activities or accomplishment of exemplary deeds coupled with faithful obedience to all prison/jail rules and regulations. Certainly, being involved in the shabu trade would disqualify here. That would not be considered good conduct. I do not know how else would you justify that.

Q: You're going to file a resolution?

Drilon: We are going to file a resolution requesting the appropriate committee in the Senate - I think it's the committee on justice - to investigate the circumstances under which the decision was made to release Mayor Sanchez.

Q: In the meantime, appeal to the DOJ muna.

Drilon: Yes, I made an appeal to the DOJ: Do not release Mayor Sanchez. Ngayong kung talang ipipilit nila, I would assist the Sarmenta family to bring the case before the regular courts. Kukwestyunin natin yung exercise of that discretion to release Sanchez, dahil mali iyan para sa akin.

Q: May maba-violation ba ang DOJ?

Drilon: Well, grave abuse of discretion.

Q: Sa tingin n'yo time na para i-amend ang RA 10592?

Drilon: Hindi kailangan, kasi in general nga, kasi hindi mo ma-predict yung activities na mag-disqualify.

Q: Yung ibang senators sabi there is a need to amend it kasi daw may mga exemption ng crimes.

Drilon: The law is good. Kaya lang, ang nangyari, the rules and regulations said that the law should be prospective in character, because what the law did was to increase the entitlement or the period that the prisoners would be entitled as a reduction in their sentence because of good conduct. There is no need to amend the law. Maliwanag naman. There are rules as to how to avail of the benefits. Ang nangyari lang, the SC struck down as unconstitutional that provision which made it a rule that it is applicable prospectively, the SC says it must be retroactively, that's why prisoners like Sanchez benefited from it.

Q: There were senators saying na itong issue could amplify the call for the revival of death penalty kasi kung may death penalty daw noon sana...

Drilon: Of course not. This guy has no remorse. When we prosecuted him, regardless of whether or not there was death penalty, he would have done it. In our judgment, the fact that there was no death penalty never came into the picture. I was personally involved in the prosecution of Mayor Sanchez, so I know.

Q: Would you like to see him really rot in jail?

Drilon: I would like to see him comply with the sentence of 40 years in prison.

Q: Yung failure to pay the indemnification to the family, is that a factor?

Drilon: That is certainly not good conduct. That is factor because the definition of good conduct is broad enough to include all forms of misconduct, because it goes into the character of the prisoner.

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