Yesterday, the 1993 rape-slay of Eileen Sarmenta resurfaced in the news. It was reported that Antonio Sanchez—the ex-mayor convicted of her rape and homicide, and sentenced to nine terms of reclusion perpetua—is set for possible release within two months. He has spent a total of 24 years in prison—336 years short of his sentence.
The details of his crime are gruesome. After raping Eileen, he handed her over to six other men to be raped again. The amount of semen collected from her body could fill a can of sardines. Eileen was shot in the face with a baby ArmaLite; her boyfriend, Allan Gomez, was tortured and shot to death. Two years prior, Antonio Sanchez also masterminded the murders of Nelson and Rickson Peñalosa, allies of his political rival.
His crimes didn't end there. In prison, he smuggled P1.5 million worth of meth hidden inside a Virgin Mary statue. Claiming to be a devout Catholic, his prison cell was covered in religious paraphernalia, but it did nothing to conceal his flat-screen TV, air conditioner, and refrigerator when they raided Bilibid in 2015. There are rumors that he's been sighted out of prison for months. The Sanchez clan still benefit from a modicum of political power in Laguna.
This living rot is set to be released in two months' time for “good behavior,” because of a law that further reduces prison confinement based on an inmate's good conduct. Law good, application bad. It gets worse: Some senators are exploiting the controversy to justify the death penalty bill.
I activated my Twitter account to peruse the public discussion. Naturally, that only made my headache worse. The Amazon is on fire for fuck's sake, and Bolsonaro is pinning the blame on NGOs. A kid in Catanduanes is suffering from a fractured skull caused by bullies. Duterte wants to increase his intelligence fund by 2 fucking billion. The Hong Kong protests. Incompetent senators are pro-ROTC and anti-SOGIE.
It's too much. I've been crying on and off yesterday and today.
I know the world's authoritarians have been known to inundate citizens with vitriol, to divert the heat away from their more sinister moves, but these aren't even cover-ups anymore. These are just major fuck-ups, one after another. How does one build up emotional stamina for too much?