Antonio Sanchez was convicted of 2 other murders
MANILA, Philippines — Before Eileen Sarmenta was raped and killed and Allan Gomez was tortured and shot to death, Antonio Sanchez, then mayor of Calauan town in Laguna, was already being tried for two counts of murder.
On April 13, 1991, father and son Nelson and Rickson Peñalosa were shot to death by the mayor’s henchmen. Nelson was then a political leader and supporter of Sanchez’s political opponent.
Sanchez and three others — including Luis Corcolon, his co-accused in the Sarmenta-Gomez rape-slay case — were convicted based on the testimony of one of the mayor’s police escorts.
The case was tried by Branch 160 of the Pasig Regional Trial Court, which rendered its verdict in 1996.
A year before that, Branch 70, also of the Pasig RTC, had already convicted Sanchez for the rape and murder of Sarmenta and the murder of Gomez.
Both rulings of the two lower courts were affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1999 — the Peñalosa slay case by its First Division through Associate Justice Bernardo Pardo and the Sarmenta-Gomez rape-slay case also by its First Division through Associate Justice Alicia Austria-Martinez.
All in all, the former mayor was convicted of nine reclusion perpetua, which means imprisonment of up to 40 years.
There are also reports that in 2006, a complaint was filed against Sanchez after he was found in possession of marijuana.
Four years later, he was again in the news after P1.5 million worth of shabu was discovered stashed in one of the Virgin Mary statues inside his cell in the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison.
After five years, during another raid inside the Maximum Security Compound, authorities seized from the former mayor’s cell a flat-screen television, an air conditioner, and a refrigerator.
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