Antonio Sanchez (politician)

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Antonio Sanchez (born 1949) is a former mayor of Calauan, Laguna, Philippines and the mastermind in the rape-slaying of Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of Sarmenta's boyfriend, Allan Gomez. Sarmenta and Gomez were both students of the University of the Philippines, Los Baños (UPLB).[1][2][3]

The case against Sanchez in the Sarmenta-Gomez murder[edit]

In 1993, Kit Alqueza, son of a Gen. Alqueza, was initially charged with being the mastermind of the slaying of Allan Gomez. Invited to a one-on-one dialogue with then Vice President and Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) Chief Joseph Estrada, Alqueza was led to a room full of media personnel and accused before national television of the crime without the benefit of a legal counsel and the chance to defend himself. Even as PACC witnesses stated categorically that their allegations were false, Estrada and CISC's Chief Supt. Angel Quizon held on to their story. Significantly, it was suggested by observers and opinion writers that the contrivance was aimed to divert the focus from Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez who had been identified by witnesses as the principal suspect in the UPLB case.

Among the reasons for alleging the contrivance and diversion were: Panfilo Lacson, who was the Chief of the Task Force Habagat of the PACC, was reported to be Estrada's link to Mayor Sanchez in relation to jueteng payolas; there were cars supplied by Estrada and Lacson to Sanchez; policemen identified with Sanchez were members of the Presidential Anti Crime Commission (PACC); and one lawyer for the Calauan respondents, named Atty. Exconde, was related by affinity to PACC's Col. Antonio Gana and Atty. Mar Arias (who is said to have come from Estrada himself).

According to talks in the Upsilonian Upsilon Sigma Phi circle, PACC's Ike Gutierrez confided to a prominent Upsilonian that Sanchez had released ₱10 million to Estrada, ₱10 million to Lacson and ₱10 million to media editors in order to draw the "heat" away from the mayor. According to reports, Lacson attempted to foist fabricated evidence on the case, which were rejected by the University of the Philippines (UP) group, which had closed ranks and vigilantly insisted on the pursuit of justice. The parents of the murder victims, also especially rallied their support for the Alqueza family.

But despite the recantation of PACC's two witnesses Corcolon and Lavadia (who claimed they were tortured to extract false testimony against Alqueza); a vehement denial by a third witness, Rose Molina, of PACC's love triangle theory; and a statement by one Centino, the driver of Sanchez, who pointed at Sanchez as the first to rape Sarmenta, Estrada and Lacson insisted that 19-year-old Alqueza masterminded the murder by paying Lavadia the puny sum of ₱21,000 to carry out the murder.[3][4]

Sanchez's conviction[edit]

On March 14, 1995, the judge concluded the 16-month Sarmenta-Gomez murder trial with the finding that Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez and several henchmen (only some of whom were policemen) were guilty of raping and murdering Sarmenta and killing Sarmenta's boyfriend. Sanchez is currently serving (7) terms of reclusion perpetua (40 years per term) for the crime. On January 25, 1999, the Philippine Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court. On August 29, 1999, Sanchez was given a double life term by the Supreme Court for a different case. Together with his seven life terms for the Sarmenta-Gomez murder, Sanchez will have to spend a total of 360 years in jail.[5]

Popular culture[edit]

Sanchez' case was the inspiration for the 1994 film Humanda Ka Mayor!: Bahala Na Ang Diyos. The film, produced by Regal Films and Golden Lions Productions, is based on Mayor Sanchez's account and criminal activities (with his name in the film changed to "Mayor Miguel Beltran").[6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What have 8 years in Munti done to Sanchez?". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  2. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-2335239.html
  3. ^ a b "Law And Behold!: EILEEN SARMENTA". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  4. ^ "G.R. Nos. 111771-77". www.lawphil.net. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  5. ^ "G.R. No. 131116". www.lawphil.net. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  6. ^ Caparas, Carlo J. (2000-01-01), Humanda ka Mayor!: Bahala na ang Diyos, retrieved 2016-07-20 
  7. ^ "NoBenta: Massacred Movies: God Saved the Industry". no-benta.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 

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