Saturday, December 18, 2010

Revisiting Vizconde Massacre

June 30, 1991, a dreadful massacre occurred inside the Vizconde's residence along Vinzons Street, BF Homes Subdivision, Parañaque City where Estrellita Vizconde, 47 (who suffered 13 stab wounds); Carmela Vizconde, 18 (17 stab wounds with evidence of rape); and Jennifer Vizconde, 7 (19 stab wounds) were found dead.

A former laundrywoman for the Webb family took the stand as a witness for the prosecution. Mila Gaviola’s testimony claimed that she washed a bloody shirt belonging to Hubert Webb, the morning after the massacre.

For almost nine years, in the year 2000, Judge Amelita Tolentino handed down a decision which declared Hubert Webb and his co-accused Michael Gatchalian, Hospicio Fernandez, Peter Estrada, Antonio Lejano and Miguel Rodriguez guilty and sentenced them with life imprisonment. They were also ordered to pay the Vizconde family Php 3 million in damages.

After 10 more years, April, this year, Supreme court ordered the reopening of the Vizconde case and granted the request of Webb for the forensic examination of the evidence, such as DNA testing of the semen specimen taken from the body of the rape-slay victim, Carmela Vizconde. The NBI and Parañaque RTC reported that the specimen was not in their custody.

Just this month, December, the Supreme Court thus declared Webb, along with the other six murderers, acquitted in the Vizconde massacre. The PAO, with the others who handled the case years ago, demanded for a Motion for Reconsideration on the massacre case. Filing an MR will only be an advantage for reviewing the files and the evidences, but to my point of view, to declare the seven murderers guilty for the second time after being acquitted by the high court will be likely impossible since it is what is stated under the double jeopardy law. Nonetheless, the Vizconde family is still hopeful that justice shall prevail. As I may see it, it may only be justice against those who were not alleged as murderers and masterminds of the said case.

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