MANILA—For more than 25 years, Eileen Sarmenta's family struggled to move on from her death.
Clara Sarmenta, Eileen's mother, said her family, along with their closest friends, found it difficult to accept Eileen's death, the University of Philippines Los Baños student who was raped and murdered by Calauan town mayor Antonio Sanchez.
With the prospect of Sanchez's release, based on a 2013 law increasing good conduct time allowance and a Supreme Court decision applying this law retroactively, the Sarmenta family said the past has come back to haunt them.
"Masakit kasi nagmo-move on na kami even after 25 years, 26 years . . . it took us that long to live a normal life," Clara said Thursday.
(It's painful because we were trying to move on, even after 25 years, 26 years . . . it took us that long to live a normal life.)
"Tapos ngayon, eto na naman. Bumalik na naman."
(And now, here it is again. It's all coming back.)
Clara described Sanchez's possible release, as "maybe God's way of telling what is wrong with the government."
"Sabi ko, 'Lord, maybe you're . . . using me again as a medium, you know, 'yung mga kamalian ng ating pamahalaan," Clara said.
(I said, "Lord, maybe you're using me again as a medium, you know, to show the wrongdoings of our government.)
The Bureau of Corrections has said that Sanchez could be disqualified from the good conduct and time allowance rule based on several grounds.
Questions were raised over how Sanchez could qualify for good conduct when he was caught with P1.5 million worth of shabu hidden in a statue of the Virgin Mary in his cell in 2010.