Panelo says failure to pay damages to victim’s kin increases jail time for convict

(Eagle News)–Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo believes failure to pay court-ordered damages to the kin of a victim will lengthen the jail time of a convict.

Panelo shared his legal opinion in an interview over CNN Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 4, a day after Elvira Sanchez, wife of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, said her family had no intention of paying the P12.67 million in damages to the families of Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.

The former mayor was convicted of the killing and rape of Sarmenta and of the killing of Gomez in the 1990s, but his wife has insisted he was innocent.

“Kumbaga, kapag hindi nakabayad on a particular amount of money, may equivalent number of days na idadagdag. Iyon ang alam ko during my law days. Hindi ko alam kung nabago na iyon,” Panelo said.

Earlier, Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon urged Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to ask the court for a writ of execution, following the former mayor’s wife’s revelation.

Guevarra gave his assurance he would do the same, lamenting his predecessors failure to do so and noting the prescriptive period for the filing of a writ of execution.