Convicted former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez has passed away, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said on Saturday.
In a statement, the BuCor said Sanchez was brought to the National Bilibid Prison Hospital at 8:30 a.m., where he was declared dead on arrival.
His body is now subject for autopsy.
Interviewed on Dobol B TV, BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag said Sanchez's cellmates had not noticed anything suspicious about his condition prior to being brought to the hospital.
"Nakita nila last night ay maayos pa raw natulog. Pero kaninang umaga ay napansin nila na hindi pa gumigising at chineck (check) nga nila," Chaclag said.
[Sanchez's inmates saw that he was still able to sleep last night (Friday), but this morning, they noticed he has not woken up, prompting them to check on him.]
"Sanchez did not complain last night of difficulty of breathing or fever," Chaclag said, adding that the former Calauan mayor did not manifest flu-like symptoms recently.
In September last year, Sanchez was admitted to the national penitentiary's hospital after experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Sanchez then requested transfer to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), where then Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said Sanchez, who is over 70 years old, was diagnosed to have "electrolyte imbalance secondary to acute gastroenteritis, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and benign prostatic hypertrophy."
The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) then said Sanchez has tested negative for COVID-19.
Sanchez was convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of college student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez.
He was reported in 2019 as having been due for early release from prison on account of a good conduct-based deductions to his sentence. Met with public and official criticism, his case triggered authorities to revise the rules for granting prison time allowances.
Sanchez had insisted on his innocence in the rape-slay of Sarmenta, a UP Los Baños student, and the killing of Gomez, claiming that he, too, was a victim, having been wrongly convicted. —KG, GMA News