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But both the RTC and the CA rejected his defence ruling that his alibi cannot stand against Alfaros positive identification of him as the rapist and killer. Webb's testimony was also contradicted by other US-based defense witnesses who said they usually saw him "going to the beach, malling, bar-hopping or playing basketball. 'Ms. The jurisprudence mentioned above that the SC invoked has not been equally applied. Alfaro also said that she bumped into Biong at the Faces Disco in Makati in March 1995 and relayed to her the offer of the group to give her a free ticket to the United States to shut her up. Indeed, if the accused is truly innocent, he can have no other defense but denial and alibi. Tolentino also found it hard to believe that Webb was working with a pesticide company because he was asthmatic and allergic to various substances. For example, the prosecutor, instead of admitting Alejo to the WPP during trial, rather chose instead to allow the Abadillas, who had an interest in Alejos testimony, to make him dependent on them for his livelihood at least for the duration of the trial of the case. "I doubt that at this time, physical evidence will be available because a lapse of time has taken place, but that's the only way we can find the true killers." Run after Alfaro It was Alejo who had positively identified Joel and Lorenzo (delos Santos) during a police line-up. Democrito Barcenas, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City president and regional coordinator of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG): I think that most of the justices are right in their decision. 808 bound for New York and who expressed doubt on whether Hubert Webb was his co-passenger in the trip; NBI medico-legal Dr. Prospero Cabanayan, Belen Dometita and Teofilo Minoza, two of the Vizconde maids; and Manciano Gatmaitan, an engineer. [29], For the alibi to be established "the accused must prove by positive, clear, and satisfactory evidence that he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime, and that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime". Unreliability of Jessica Alfaro's testimony: Alfaro had prior knowledge on the facts of the case having been an, Alfaro was not able to explain why the house was ransacked if robbery was not the motive of Webb and his group, Unreliability of testimony from other witnesses, Alfaro's testimony will fall apart if Webb was not at the crime scene and will relieve the others accused of the crime. Estrellita, Carmela and Jennifer Vizconde. Webbs son, Hubert Jeffrey, is also the brother of a television host, Pinky, in one of the largest television networks in the country. Alejos testimonies in open court were also not consistent to what he had said to the police investigators immediately after the murder. From there she allegedly saw Lejano and Ventura take a knife from the kitchen drawer, while the rest of the gang acted as lookouts. This coincided with his passport and Philippine Immigration records but were dismissed by Tolentino due to belief that these documents can possibly be falsified. The men were released on Dec. 14 last year, after the Supreme Court dismissed the testimony of star witness Jessica Alfaro against Webb. [57] The witnesses include an electrician, a drug dealer, a couple of neighborhood basketball players, a hairdresser and a village security guard. Secondly, in the Abadilla case the SC held that the defense of alibi is weak, but in the Vizconde case it held that not all denials and alibis should be regarded as fabricated. Hubert Jeffrey Webb sought for an acquittal after he had found out that the NBI could no longer produce the DNA specimen extracted from the cadaver of the rape victim. Remember that death is the ultimate equalizer. [56] According to De Lima, all the new witnesses passed the polygraph test. Tolentino also said, the photographs and videotapes purportedly showing Webb in the United States appeared to be tampered. On June 30, 1991, Estrellita Vizconde and her two daughters: Carmela and Jennifer, were found lifeless inside their home in Paraaque. "[21], In April 2010, the Supreme Court approved DNA testing to be performed on the semen specimen obtained during autopsy from Carmela Vizconde. All rights are reserved. The Jessica Alfaro Story in 1995 was meanwhile focused on the star witness, portrayed by Alice Dixson. On June 30, 1991, three Vizconde women Estrellita, 49; her 19-year-old daughter, Carmela and the younger Jennifer, 6 were found dead in their home at BF Homes Village in Paraaque. [48] Other witnesses say Webb was in the Philippines at the time of the murders. 150 likes. It cautioned itself from accepting the testimonies of witnesses without applying these tests. Jennifer Diaz, chief of the women and childrens desk, told Allan to file the complaint with the barangay where they reside. Let the love of God prevail. The lower courts, however, reasoned that "Webb's alibi cannot stand against Alfaro's positive identification of him." She observed Hubert was quite irritated, uneasy, and walked to and fro inside his room. Firstly, the SC held Alfaro was not a credible witness. The trial began in August 1995 before Paraaque RTC Judge Amelita Tolentino. [15] The accused alleged that by rejecting 132 of the 142 pieces of evidence, Tolentino had set the tone for their conviction. In a 38-page strongly-worded decision promulgated on Tuesday, the . They were victims of gory murder; Carmela was raped before she was killed. Forensic evidence: In Vizconde case it cannot lie, in Abadilla case it is inconclusive. Firstly, in the Vizconde case, the SC still held as credible the corroborating testimonies of the witnesses favouring Hubert Jeffrey who are mostly his relatives and friends in support of his defence of alibi. 1 newspaper in terms of circulation and readership. God does not teach us to retaliate. The Vizconde murders remained unsolved for almost four years, until eyewitness Jessica Alfaro, a self-confessed former drug addict, came forward on April 28, 1995, to shed light on the massacre. Alfaro said Estrellita was killed before Webb began to rape Carmela. [50], On January 18, 2011, the Supreme Court denied Lauro Vizconde's motion to reverse the acquittal because of double jeopardy. The other defendants were Antonio Lejano II, Hospicio Fernandez, Michael Gatchalian, Miguel Rodriguez, Peter Estrada, Joey Filart and Artemio Ventura. [29], The court said that "among the accused, Webb presented the strongest alibi". It is that simple. The Vizconde massacre, dubbed the crime of the 20th century, was my defining moment as a columnist and defender of the oppressed and those. One of the important pieces of evidence, which I presented to the court later, was the copy of an invoice issued to Hubert Webb on coincidence of coincidences! De Lima said the evidence that showed Webb and any of the co-accused were in the country came from the magnetic reel tape (MRT) of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) where all records of incoming and outgoing passengers from the Philippines are recorded. You will regret it.[58][59] Jack, a village security guard who kept records of the village where Webb lived said he saw Hubert Webb during the time of the massacre. 5. Needless to say, were unpopular with the PNP and other government agencies that citizens transact business with. But feeling uneasy, she decided to go up to the stockroom near Hubert's room to see what he was doing. It cannot be coached or allured by a promise of reward or financial support. Former NBI official Pedro Rivera however dismissed as lies the testimony of Sacaguing saying that Agent Sacaguing had a record of notoriety in the NBI which prompted his transfer to remote places of assignment until his early retirement. Nephews had posted a banner declaring Truth prevails 20 years after and demanding Final justice for the Vizconde massacre victims, in apparent reference to government probers claims that, contrary to his alibi, released murder convict Hubert Webb never left the country. Similar to the Vizconde case, the five accused made a defence of alibi claiming that they were somewhere else on June 13, 1996 when the murder of Abadilla happened. The Supreme Court acquitted them on Dec. 14, 2010. Manila Times Special Report on the Vizconde Case, G.R. A lying witness can make as positive an identification as a truthful witness can. [6][7][8] The suspects said they were tortured and forced to confess to the crime before they were presented by Filart to the media. InVizconde case: The majority of the justices strongly argued against relying on conjectures on deciding the case, particularly on the claim that Hubert Jeffrey could have been in the Philippines, and not in the U.S., when the crime happened. One of the justices, Roberto Abad, who dissented the majority decision affirming the guilty verdict wrote: the public prosecutor chose instead to allow the Abadillas, who had an interest in Alejos testimony, to make him dependent on them for his livelihood at least for the duration of the trial of the case. The Supreme Court acquitted them on Dec. 14, 2010. This site uses cookies. Di naman ako puwede magtrabaho don (If that's the case, then I should have had a salary. I will kill you, brandishing a shiny revolver. People vs. Bello, G.R. Alejo confirmed these two (2) as the persons he saw from his guard post walking to and fro before the shooting incident. At any rate, Rameses de Jesus admitted that they were using the new car of Lenido Lumanog. 132577 People of the Philippines vs. Hubert Jeffrey P. Webb, 1999, G.R. On October 1, 1996, Judge Amelita Tolentino admitted only 10 of the 142 pieces of evidence the defense presented. However, keep in mind not to be vindictive. [4] In the Trial Court (People of the Philippines vs. Hubert Webb, et al., G.R. Kung di ninyo ako pinabayaan, 'di ako magkakaganito. (Fuck you all! I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy. Ateneo law professor Alan Paguia: "The order of release is questionable as it appears to be undemocratic. Webb was the prime suspect of the infamous homicide that occurred on June 30, 1991. As a result, the court reverses the decision of the Court of Appeals, and acquits Webb, et al. A police officer, Gerardo Biong, has also been charged for destroying the evidence at the crime scene. In a decision dated January 6, 2000, Paraaque Regional Trial Court Judge Amelita Tolentino convicted Webb and the co . "[29], The court held that security guard Normal E. White, Jr.'s testimony was unreliable. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said the government task force re-investigating the 1991 Vizconde massacre case has found another witness and was convincing him to come out in public and [2][20], The court ruled that the Paraaque RTC was correct in sentencing Webb et al. The filming location took place in the actual home of the Vizconde's where the massacre took place on June 30, 1991. Alejo had been under the Abadillas custody and protection instead of that of the WPP of the government. Vizconde is clinging to the hope that even if this period ended Thursday, more concerned citizens will approach the National Bureau of Investigation to corroborate claims made by new witnesses that Webb was seen in BF Homes, Paraaque City, at the time of the murders. Defence of Alibi: In Vizconde case not admissible, in Abadilla case court acted on conjectures. God would be stupid to borrow Digongs words if He gifts him the vice presidency the second time around. Suspicions, no matter how strong they are, must never sway judgment. The Vizconde murder case, colloquially known as the Vizconde massacre, was the multiple homicide of members of the Vizconde family on June 30, 1991 at their residence at 80 Vinzons Street, BF Homes, Paraaque, Metro Manila, Philippines. Therefore, the applications of the SC on evaluating the defence of alibi of the accused have not been equally applied in these two cases. I stand by my story. Six months is not enough for him to clean up the Aegean stable that is the PNP. The unconstitutionality of prior restraint. [23] On November 26, 2010, Lauro Vizconde voiced his concern to media about the purported lobbying of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio for the reversal of the guilty verdict. Former Paraaque policeman Gerardo Biong was found guilty as an accessory for burning bedsheets and tampering with other evidence in the crime. Allan (surname intentionally omitted), stepfather of a 16-year-old girl who was nearly raped by a neighbor, went with his daughter to the police station in San Jose, Batangas recently to file a complaint. Hubert and his co-accused were convicted by the Paraaque Regional Trial Court for the crime on June 6, 2000. Inconsistencies: In Vizconde case damages credibility, in Abadilla case does not. [53], Lauro Vizconde, family patriarch and the founding president of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, died on February 13, 2016, at the age of 77. The prescription period does not matter to me, its just a date, he said. Yes, but what can I do (?). The SC rendered its judgment on the Abadilla case on September 7 and on the Vizconde case on December 14 of this year [2010]. [61], The findings also point to another set of suspects, namely Dong Villadolid and his brother Bing. The prosecution of this case only began in August 10, 1995, four years after the massacre happened, when Jessica Alfaro, an informant working for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), told lawyer Artemio Sacaguing, an official of the NBI, that she knew someone who had the real story behind the Vizconde massacre. The court said the "portion of Alfaro's story appears tortured to accommodate the physical evidence of the ransacked house" adding that "it is a story made to fit in with the crime scene although robbery was supposedly not the reason Webb and his companions entered that house". 176389 / G.R. [25][26], On December 14, 2010, the Supreme Court reversed the earlier judgment of the lower court and Court of Appeals and acquitted seven of the nine accused, including Hubert Webb, finding that the prosecution failed to prove that the accused were guilty beyond reasonable doubt. With Romeo Vasquez, Elizabeth Oropesa, Robert Arevalo, Tommy Abuel. Published July 4, 2011 7:24pm. On June 30, 1991, 47-year-old housewife Estrellita Vizconde and daughters Carmela, 18, and Jennifer, 7, were found dead in their residence in BF Homes in Paraaque. The readers will notice soon enough the brevity of each topic. [55], On June 28, 2011, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said Hubert Webb was in the Philippines when the murders took place. In rejecting questions to Alejos credibility, the SC affirmed the CAs ruling that the credible testimony of a lone witness(es) assumes more weight when there is no showing that he was actuated by improper motive to testify falsely against the accused, as in the case of Freddie Alejo. Evid. Alfaro said that when she went back to the house, she saw the bodies of Estrellita and Jennifer on the bed and Webb raping Carmela on the floor. Seven justices based its decision on the following points: Webb, citing Brady v. Maryland, said "that he is entitled to outright acquittal on the ground of violation of his right to due process given the States failure to produce on order of the Court either by negligence or willful suppression the semen specimen taken from Carmela." By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. That's all crap! Webb's travel documents and other paper trail of his stay in the US are unreliable proof of his absence in the Philippines at the time of the commission of the crime charged. [60], Although Webb's group can no longer be retried because of double jeopardy, De Lima said the purpose of the reinvestigation was to uncover the truth and bring closure to Lauro Vizconde.[65][66]. He alleged that he could not forget Webb because Biong had allegedly threatened him, Do not cheat him. Alfaro had testified that she knew the suspects and was at the Vizconde house when the crime was committed. [29] Thus, her testimony could not be admitted. [54] He was laid to rest at Manila Memorial Park Sucat on February 17. There was entry of (former senator) Freddie Webb leaving the country in March 1991 but no Hubert Webb, De Lima said. Like Herbas, court records had also shown that Alejo has been receiving money and free accommodation from the Abadillas. [19], The Court of Appeals' Third Division voted 32 to deny Webb's motion for reconsideration and upheld the ruling of Judge Tolentino on December 16, 2005. In open court, he already said there were six, not four assailants; that it was two other gunmen, not one of the four present close to the car who pointed the gun at him; and he was not nervous but rather had the opportunity to see the faces of all the assailants facing him all at the same time. She also testified that Biong received money at a house that she later learned belonged to then Paraaque Congressman Freddie Webb; the Webb family's maids, Mila Gaviola and Nerissa Rosales, who both testified that Hubert Webb was at home on June 30, 1991. The CA held that these ballistic results are inconclusive and can never prevail over appellants positive identification by eyewitness Freddie Alejo. Footnote: This article comprises the text of a statement issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission, AHRC-STM-266-2010, dated 21 December 2010. a contribution to Human Rights work, Asian Human Rights Commission vs. People of the Philippines et al., 1997, G.R. al, 1995, G.R. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua and ordered to indemnify the Vizconde family Php 3 million for the murders. The passing away of Lauro Vizconde a few days ago does not close the sad chapter on the tragedy known as the Vizconde massacre. The majority of the justices also rejected as conjecture the argument of one of the dissenting justices, Martin Villarama Jr., that it would not have been impossible during the interregnum for Webb to travel back to the country and again fly to the US several times considering that the travel time on board an airline from the Philippines to San Francisco, and from San Francisco to the Philippines takes only about twelve (12) to fourteen (14) hours. X' key to real perpetrators of Vizconde murders? 187745. ", The victims of the massacre (from left to right): Jennifer, Carmela, and Estrellita Vizconde, "The Vizconde massacre: Justice not served", "Lauro Vizconde to be buried in same grave with family Wednesday", "Manila Standard Google News Archive Search", "The Manila Times Internet Edition SPECIAL REPORT > Questions linger in Vizconde case", The Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 31, 2010, "Philippine Daily Inquirer Google News Archive Search", "NBI exec: We've turned over semen specimen from Vizconde girl to court", "2 SC justices asked to go on leave pending Vizconde decision", "SC sues for time, defers ruling on Vizconde case", Philippine Daily Inquirer, SC Acquits Webb et al, "Supreme Court decision on Webb et al re Vizconde Massacre", Lauro Vizconde in tears, Webbs on 'cloud nine', Gary, Kris speak up on Hubert's acquittal, Outrage over decision, sympathy for Vizconde, Ruling raises more questions, lawyers point out, Vizconde kin question why Webb was released so quickly, Alfaro unwilling to testifying anew in Vizconde case Jessica Alfaro stands by story, Criminal law experts umalma sa pag-absuwelto ng SC kay Webb, Ex-VP Guingona to SC: Reverse Webb's acquittal to give justice to Vizconde, "Another 'Joey Filart' still under detention", "New Vizconde massacre witnesses surface", New witnesses to prove Webb in PH during Vizconde massacre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Hubert Webb seeks P180K compensation for 'unlawful' conviction, NBI, PNP teams probe 3 sets of Vizconde slay suspects, Vizconde massacre has new set of witnesses, Evidence, witnesses 'shatter' Webb alibi: task force, DoJ chief: No credible proof of Webb in crime scene, De Lima hints at explosive breakthrough in Vizconde probe. kellie agueze ex husband, ligonier conference 2021,