MANILA - The family of convicted rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez has asked President Rodrigo Duterte, his former aide now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, and his legal counsel Salvador Panelo to vouch for the former mayor’s plea for pardon.
Sanchez’s daughter, Marie Antonelvie, made the request in an email to Panelo dated Feb.8.
Noting that Panelo served as her father’s defense counsel in the high-profile 1993 rape-slay case, Marie asked for help in gaining the recommendations of the President, his chief legal counsel, and Go.
“I am respectfully requesting the assistance of your good office by providing us, if possible, recommendations from you, former Special Aide to the President, Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ T. Go, and our good President, his excellency, the Hon. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, for the grant of pardon unto my father,” Marie said in the letter.
Panelo admitted referring the letter to the Board of Pardons and Parole on Feb. 26, but clarified that he “never recommended anything.”
“There is no part of this representation’s official communication asking for intervention. The referral letter speaks for itself,” Panelo told reporters Tuesday.
“In line with the President’s commitment for good governance, transparency and immediate action on matters that affect the welfare of the people, we are referring this matter to your good office for your evaluation and whatever appropriate action you may want to undertake under the premises,” Panelo said in his letter.
The BPP, in a letter dated March 19, however, informed Panelo that Sanchez’s plea has been denied. Panelo forwarded the BPP’s response to the Sanchez family on April 11.
The Duterte spokesman also maintained that he had no communication with the former mayor since his conviction in 1995 but confirmed meeting with the Sanchez family in Malacañang over the plea for pardon of the convicted mayor in February.
The meeting however was only an “official communication,” said Panelo.