- Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has reportedly endorsed the application for executive clemency of the rape-slay convict Antonio Sanchez
- Panelo denies all allegations, saying that his office forwarding the letter to the office of the president was standard procedure
- However, the Presidential Spokesperson did admit to meeting with the Sanchez family in his office in Malacaňang
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has reportedly endorsed the letter of the family of rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez regarding his application for executive clemency, according to the Bureau of Pardons and Parole.
At the second Senate hearing of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law on Tuesday, Sept. 3, chief Raynaldo Bayang revealed that Panelo had written him a letter on Feb. 26 of this year.
The letter read:
It was discovered that Panelo is among the officials who vouched for the ex-mayor, including former Laguna governor ER Ejercito, and mayors and vice mayors of Laguna.
PANELO DENIES ALLEGATIONS
According to a message sent to Inquirer.net, Panelo denied that the letter asking for executive clemency does not equate to a recommendation.
“Referral of the letter asking for executive clemency to the appropriate authority is not recommendation. Our office receives similar letters and we refer all them to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) for their evaluation. Our office just do the physical act of referring the letters to the BuCor in line with the policy of President Duterte to respond to all letters addressed to the Office of the President.”
Panelo also said that it was the Standard Operating Procedure to respond to all letters received and refer them to the proper department or agency.
PANELO CONFIRMS MEETING WITH THE SANCHEZ FAMILY
However, the Presidential spokesman did confirm on Tuesday that he had met with the family of the rape-murder convict in his office in Malacaňang. However, he insists that he never had “personal communication” with them.
He had made the admission after vehemently denying that his office “endorsed” to the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) the grant of executive clemency to Sanchez.
According to Panelo, the meeting came after Sanchez’s children sent the application of their father for executive clemency via e-mail. He could not recall the exact date of the meeting.