A lot of people are unhappy with the Philippine justice system at the moment. Some people are accusing some members of the Supreme Court of being corrupt and very biased. I think that those who are unhappy with the Supreme Court should go down a few more levels and take a hard look at the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine media. I don’t understand why people are letting them off the hook. The members of the Supreme Court should not bear the brunt of the blame for all the bungled cases in the Philippines.
Personally, I do not know if I can still trust any members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deal with the simplest of police matters. I don’t know if they can actually be capable of putting even a little bit of competence and professionalism in their jobs. God forbid that I ever find myself in need of their assistance in any way, anytime in the future. They really suck. The PNP sucked on June 30, 1991; and they sucked in whatever low profile cases they handled between then and when they sucked big time on the 23rd of August 2010.
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The NBI for that matter is also quite suspect in the way they handle their cases. Who knows how many innocent men and women have been convicted of crimes they did not commit because of the way they tamper with evidence and manipulate witnesses involved in the cases?
The Philippine media for their part, never fail to sensationalize the news and conduct a trial-by-media just to fatten the bottom line of their CEO’s report. Whether it is about Hubert Webb or former President Gloria Arroyo, you cannot rely on the Philippine media to give a balanced view. Where else but in the Philippines is a movie made out of a case while the trial is still on-going? It’s safe to assume that most Filipinos who were old enough to care in 1991 know more about the details of the Vizconde massacre from the movie The Vizconde Massacre Story (God Help Us!). I wouldn’t even be surprised if the judge in Hubert Webb’s case based her decision on the movie. Hello! The crime was committed in 1991, the movie made in 1993, and star witness Jessica Alfaro emerged in 1995!
One of the latest news reports said: “Lauro Vizconde today broke down as he mourned the decision of the Supreme Court to acquit the convicted murderers of his wife Estrelita, and daughters Carmela and Jennifer”. As I read it, I felt sorry for Mr. Vizconde, Hubert Webb, his family, Hubert’s his co-accusers and their family. Whoever killed the Vizcondes got away with the crime. Whether they got away with it in 1991 or now, they still got away with it.
Another news report said: “In his extemporaneous speech at the 20th anniversary of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the President said the children today are luckier compared to the children during the Martial Law years when he was barely 12 years old and aware that there was no promising future for them”. As I read that one, I felt a bit sick to my stomach. I had to ask myself: What is President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy) smoking, really? He seems to be hallucinating in his speeches.
Can somebody please tell PNoy that children of today are not luckier compared to the children during the Martial Law years? I feel like PNoy is living in a bubble and gets no reality checks whatsoever. He might not be aware of Webb and his companion’s acquittal or worse, PNoy might not be aware of the implication of the acquittal.
For PNoy and his supporters’ sakes, I would just like to point out that the acquittal means that there is no justice in the Philippines. There is no justice for the accused and there is no justice for the victims. Whatever people say about the Supreme Court, it is evident from the reports that the PNP, NBI and the media are all accomplices in this Vizconde massacre fiasco — not too different from the Mendoza hostage fiasco.
Just like in the Mendoza hostage crisis, the transcript of the testimonies and the sequence of events in the Vizconde case do not make any sense at all. In the Vizconde case, at lot of holes were ignored; like the fact that the lone star witness was very high on drugs at the time of the crime. How can someone who was high at the time remember all the details in her testimony five years after? I can’t even remember in detail what I did last weekend let alone five years ago. And goodness knows why she was always wearing shades in her appearances? Hiding her shifty eyes perhaps?
I cannot claim to know about the details of the case but it is pretty obvious to me that it all boils down to the excellent way the PNP; NBI and the Philippine media bungled it. It would have been another crime if the Supreme Court did not dismiss the case this time around because there was no doubt that there was too much doubt in the credibility of the witnesses.
The next time someone accuses you of something; don’t expect any kind of fair treatment from the Philippine authorities. You’d b be better off following the advice given to Forrest Gump: Run!
In life, things are not always what they seem.
67 Replies to “Vizconde Massacre (God Help Us Again!)”
One can only feel so bad for the elder Lauro Vizconde — this realization that the people who committed the heinous crime against his family are out there walking the streets of metro-manila.
I heard that Jessica Alfaro, who apparently has been living in the U.S., is now on the run. I guess she too doesn’t trust the Philippine justice system to be fair on her.
So you think SCORP is not corrupt?
Where did I say that the SC judges are or are not corrupt?
But itâ€™s funny how you and millions like you already assume that the judges are corrupt on the basis of Webb and co.â€™s acquittal alone.
Just because you think that the judges prioritised reviewing Hubert’s and his companions case more than the other cases, it shouldnâ€™t mean they already are corrupt.
Try knocking on the media. They gave his case more exposure over everyone else’s. There are many convicts who try and appeal their cases, how come the media does not show them on TV?
Itâ€™s ironic that people accuse us of being so idealistic. I think those who think that media exposure had little to do with their conviction in 1995 and eventual acquittal in 2010 should have their head examined.
This will be so hurtful to the elder Vizconde. That the clock is ticking, June 2011 is just so very near, and Pilipinas has a statute of limitation on murder.
â€œBeyond 2011, whoever did it (the Vizconde murders) can no longer be tried in court.â€ The 20-year prescriptive period is provided for in the Revised Penal Code. The count begins upon the discovery of the crimeâ€”which, in the Vizconde case, would be June 30, 1991.
So even if they find the real perpetrators, building up a case against them will still take time and might not even make it to June 2011.
This is just terrible.
With that sperm sample “lost…” wala eh, luto na ang kaso from the start. The SC saw through the luto and declared the luto null. That’s how I see it.Â
“One can only feel so bad for the elder Lauro Vizconde â€” this realization that the people who committed the heinous crime against his family are out there walking the streets of metro-manila.”
Worst thing would be this: If not Webb and Co’y, then who?
To be fair to Webb and Co’y, however, what’s the batting that a sympathizer of the Vizcondes would off them?
They have to be really careful in public now because a lot of people feel for Mr Vizconde. Some of them believe he was wronged by the acquittal so they might take matters into their own hands.
My point exactly.
You guys have not distilled the decision of the SCORP and yet you all appear to be all competent to discuss it. The decision was resolved on â€œreasonable doubtâ€ but they could still be guilty just like O.J. Simpson with regards the murder of Nicole and her beau. There were pieces of evidence Judge Tolentino saw which SCORP did not see, like the testimonies of the maids that on the night of the incident Webb asked them to wash his bloodstained jacket and that H. Webb on the certificate of embarkation in the U.S. refers to Holland Webb. (Please read Raissa Robless blog). And there are other evidence on the case. You can also read my blog because I have some doubts about the integrity of the SCORP which through its judicial and bar council recruits its judges, of which Judge Tolentino was one.
You pillory PNOY and the electorate that voted for him and tried to whittle down his election being a minority president because he got 15 million out of 45 million. You see the flaw in this process but you do not see the flaw of 7 jurists voting for acquittal 4 dissenting and 4 did not take part as flawed and hail the decision as the victory for truth and justice for Webb and Company.
You want to be an alternative voice for the MSM, but you seem to argue along the same line and sees the light from the same tunnel.
We see more flaws in the system than any average Pinoy can handle. The one thing that makes sense in this instance is the decision to acquit because of too many loopholes.
You have to stop focusing your energy on the judges alone. Just because you have an axe to grind with one of the judges in the past, it does not mean everything they do is wrong. As a lawyer, you should know that when there is reasonable doubt, there is not much you can do but to acquit.
If the police didnâ€™t bungle the case in the first place, they would have a solid evidence to convict or convince the people that Hubert is either guilty or not guilty.
Majority wins right? Same with the election, we here at Antipinoy.com do not have any solid evidence to prove that the last election was rigged by the media, the tugs and the vote buyers so we donâ€™t have any choice but to just deal with what is perceived to be true by the majority and the media who create that perception. We have no choice but to soldier on with our advocacies in fighting for the truth even though it may seem futile.
It should be the same with you on this case, the judges already ruled, so now you need to focus more on how they came to that decision. Advocate more on fixing the PNP, NBI and the Philippine media so this thing wonâ€™t happen again.
“We see more flaws in the system than any average Pinoy can handle”.
How self-righteous and arrogant. Judges were corrupt. You have to take it from someone who had interacted with the system for 2 decades and not from someone who preaches from the comfort of her couch.
Oh yeah? Well, the Filipino culture is dysfunctional; a culture to which your judges belong to. You have to take it from someone who was born and bred in the Philippines; someone who went to school, have worked and still work with Filipinos.
I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if what you are claiming is true about the judges. I donâ€™t know why you have this impression that I am actually defending them. I just happen to think that under the circumstances, they have to acquit.
Itâ€™s mind boggling why you are so sure that Hubert and his co-accused are guilty when you were not even directly involved in the case neither as an investigator, a witness or prosecutor. Even if they are, when are you going to get it through your thick skull that the evidence was tampered with and the star witness was unreliable?
The same argument goes with you Ilda. What makes you think that Webb and company were not guilty when you were not part of the same investigation, witness and prosecutor involved in the case? You read the majority opinion and concluded that the decision that the evidence were not reliable but if you read the dissenting opinion you will find that Webb and company were guilty. So you were processing the information on the basis of the majority opinion. The same concept and idea you cannot process when majority of Pinoys voted for PNOY and you toyed with the idea that his election could be rigged and your group had been tearing him apart since day one of his elections because he is a moron. You understand the concept when it suits your bias but is totally stranger if it doesn’t.
Goes to show that this issue you opened was pointless to begin with Mr jcc. The only basis for your own judgment of the judges was your experience “interact[ing] with the system for 2 decades”. That’s the trouble with that kind of “extensive” experience. Lawyers will always see the issue as one framed by the system that dispenses the Law. But in your case, you are not even seeing this from a lawyer’s perspective. You are seeing this from a political perspective which makes it even more amusing considering you keep trumpeting your being a lawyer and your experience with the system. 😀
You are confused again manong jcc.
I did not say â€œWebb and company were not guiltyâ€. The judges based their decision on a technicality so they themselves did not confirm his guilt nor his innocence.
As to PNoy, there is enough evidence to suggest that it is possible that he is a moron. His first six months were filled with gaffes and even family friend Winnie Monsod and some Senators like Miriam Santiago confirmed this. This was what Monsod had to say about him:
And this was what Santiago had to say about PNoyâ€™s team:
And she even called them â€œa bunch of amateursâ€
The problem with you (in addition to what Benign0 mentioned), is that you can’t seem to accept that the culture of dysfunction includes the voting in of incompetent public officials, which includes the SC Judges and the decades of tolerance of the public for an inept police force.
So therefore, you should now accept that it is the Filipino people that is the problem here and you should change the theme of your blogs to reflect this problem.
yeah, right benigno.. the four jurists who said that Webb and company could be guilty were reasoning also from political perspective not from legal perspective.
Then prove you are the bigger legal practitioner by setting an example by arguing from a legal perspective rather than entering into the fray with the same moronic political bent.
there is no better legal perspective benign0, only legal convenience.
There is no such thing as better legal perspective. Only legal convenience. T. Jefferson had long considered that jurists are also humans. They have their own party affiliations, loyalty and corps. It was convenient for them to side with GMA for reason of past favors, just like the jurists of Marcos era who kept siding with Marcos on presidential decree issues. In the case of Webb et. al., the majority sees the legal convenience of putting their best foot forward in the light of bad press it has been receiving lately.
My favorite professor Perfecto Fernandez, said that on every issue, there are always two sides. Both can be argued forcefully and convincingly. It is only a question of numbers that determines the result. But the majority position is like a tectonic plate which tries to seek its own level as time passes by. You see the Dred Scott case in 1987 as purely a â€œpropertyâ€ issue (slaves are properties). The era was then profiting from slave labor. It was only in much later years that â€œslaveâ€ owning becomes a â€œhuman right issueâ€, because the north was believed to be jealous of the south which were profiting from slave labor at the expense of the north which were paying for their labor, hence the temperament had changed and led to the abolition of slavery.
The minority now can be a majority later. What freed Webb and Company was not the legal brilliance of the jurists, but is numbers, for if you read the 4 dissenting opinions, you can also see unmistakable legal gems in them.
Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (“the burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies”)
Too right, Mike.
I just got done making the same point in my article, too.
I feel for both Lauro Vizconde and Hubert Webb. Both of them are victims. Lauro Vizconde. Lost his family and ever since lost peace. And now, lost even more because of the uncertainty as to who really is behind the murder. In Hubert’s case, he spent 15 years in prison even if the evidences were weak. This handling of the case is also a loss of hope on the entire justice system, not just on the supreme court alone.Â
The evidences then were so weak but like what Ms. Ilda said, the NBI and the media can sway decisions to their marketing and power gaining favor. Former NBI director Mariano Mison was a newly appointed director then. What a perfect time to shine! What’s more bigger than a case that was the media’s center of attention then. It may even become the media’s center of attention again but I hope not. No offense to the Vizcondes and the Webbs but the country has bigger issues to face. The media has already sensationalized the case enough
I hope they find Jessica Alfaro though. She has a lot to answer for. The media should hound her and her accomplice.
According to PNoy and his supporters, life is so peachy nowadays.
Shoddy police work in the Philippines due to unscientific minds
If there was anything that the final “resolution” of the Vizconde Massacre — the “crime of the decade” — achieved, it was casting the spotlight, yet again, on the astounding incompetence of the state’s law enforcement, intelligence, and investigation services. Missing witnesses, tampered evidence, lack of control over crime scenes, and spineless management of the Media characterised the case then just as these characterised much of the more recent spectacles of the Philippines’ keystonian police operations.
Criminal investigation is a science and follows the scientific method of developing sensible hypotheses, testing it with reliable evidence, and forming logical conclusions on these bases (among other steps). Therefore, perhaps, it is not surprising that Filipinos suck at it. It is because we as a society hopelessly lack a strong (or even at best a mediocre) track record of scientific achievement and possess a severely stunted ability to think critically.
Indeed, even within the ASEAN region, the Philippines sorely lags behind Malaysia and Thailand in the publication of scientific and research papers. The Land of Manny Pacquiao is, in recent years, also fast being outpaced by historic basketcases — now emerging economy posterboys — Indonesia and Vietnam.
Normally it is hard to convict a murder suspect — specially if the sentence is severe — because the guilt of the accused needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt. And even if the volume of alternatives mount (perhaps due to unsound witness accounts) these alternatives need to be rigourously ruled out.
Reasonable doubt, rigour, and alternatives. One needs an open mind to consider these. Unfortunately Filipino culture is renowned for an utter lack of any of these, being a people renowned for their quickness to judge on the basis of mere speculation and popular hearsay. As such, it is possible that the horrible prospect of large numbers of innocent men and women languishing in Philippine prisons blights the holier-than-thou character that forms an immense chunk of Da Pinoy’s self-perception.
Hubert Webb et al certainly falls under that subset of possible victims of the banal injustice that describes the Filipino Way of Life. Worse, the status of the more tangible victims of all this — the Vizcondes — has not changed.
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Part of the reason I’ve gone atheist is that I no longer believe in “good” and “evil.”
Plunder the country, you get pardoned and nearly re-elected.
Stage a coup, become senator.
And now you can officially get away with murder.
Yes, you are correct.
Dont forget inserting the idea of Duality (Good and Evil) in government, the way Pnoy did right before the elections. Siya daw ang good, and then yung opposing side, bad. Thats just so crazy! Hindi naman religion ang politics. Hindi naman din ito fiction. Maybe thats how the masa perceives it, and if so, its so easy to manipulate their opinions by using media to demonize the opposition.
Morally good and evil can be different from what is lawfully good and evil. But what is morality anyway? rules to abide by which benefits the greater good and the greater numbers? A gauge for the preservation of social relationships?
I dont know who murdered the Vizcondes, and I was in high school when it took place. All I can see is, if the suspects were mahirap. None of these circus acts would take place. Automatic, mabubulok sila sa kulungan. Like forever.
The one thing I’ve learned is that “morality” is essentially what is considered ‘healthy’ behavior within a social construct. Basically what we need to do to survive. Most of the time, following the ‘law’ is healthy as that’s what most would agree is healthy. And yes, there are always “gray zones’.
Here there is so much gray that it’s actually UNhealthy in terms of our society as a part of the global construct.
Pinoys think that if the law is against squatters for example, the law is evil. Their perspective is all screwed up.
If you ask me, these guys are imposing their own version of morality on Philippine society. What the saying: “I impose my reality on you?” And media even helps them in that. That’s what’s messing up things.Â
I don’t blame you The Lazzo. If you follow your instincts, you can’t really go wrong.
We just all have to be careful not to go to the extreme of whatever belief system we choose to follow.
Not a CJ major, but you would figure a murder like that would need some form of motivation, be it financial or personal.
I mean no one speaks about Ralph Nantes, though the motivation for his ‘death’ is above all apparent: he knows damn well enough to put certain strong people in an interesting, provocative position
Deciding on acquitting the guilty parties is like saying that we’ve hold on and barred the wrong people all these years. When in reality their SINS run deep in their veins. Its like saying to the surviving relatives of the oppressed that there was no one to blame in the matter. That they died on their own or such. I could just imagine what Mr Vizconde must be feeling,having to wait for a final closure only to be held in dismay by the worthless system that is supposed to keep the country in check. We can’t always forgive the sinners, but the judicial system is there for a reason. But alas, as they say, “Rules ARE meant to be broken.” If they can’t, they can still be bent…
I think that people shouldn’t assume that the Supreme Courtâ€™s decision is wrong just because they believe that the case against Webb and Co. seemed solid. If they read the detailed decision of the SC, they will see a lot of holes too.
Sadly, no one is a winner here. Not Mr Vizconde; not the Webbâ€™s nor his companionâ€™s and their families and especially not the Filipino people.
something that i do not agree. Â 20 years would not be enough. i think the reason behind having a prescriptive period or expiration-clock is that its common sense that evidence today will not be as perfect as it would be 10 years from now and so on. Â BUT, it would be an injustice if a very brutal crime is committed ( like the vizconde massacre and how the victims died an agonizing death ) and then a NEW and DAMNING evidence is discovered only after 20 years to finally identify the culprit. Â I think, in those cases, prescriptive periods should be relaxed or even extended if the interest of justice is so serious as when public outrage demands so. Â Â
The investigators wasted a lot of time not looking for the real culprits. They should have pursued other leads as well. The word initiative is a totally alien concept to not just the PNP, but also to most Pinoys.
i think this is the most critical decisions that the SC made in this generation but it still fails. i wonder if the ampatuans were acquitted also in their case with the evidences shown Â all sides were shown and yet they acquitted? if that will happen. the only way to make things right is to revolt. himagsikan na ang kailangan. wla ng katarungan puro nalng statement ang mga kinakausap ang nila ang mga mahihirap pero ndi nila kayang suyuin ang mga nakapagaral dahil alam nila ang lahat ng mga nangyayari.
When did you find that we have a good justice system in the Philippines? Noynoy Aquino is there again; talking nonsense. My father stated: At least during Martial Law; the Filipinos did not go to Vietnam and Thailand to beg for rice to import…There were no false SWS Pulse Asia Surveys. The Media was muzzled. However, we knew it is spouting propagandas. Now, the Media is secretly taken Hostage by the Oligarchs, like the failed Quirino Grandstand Hostage incident.
I didn’t say anything about the the Philippines having a good justice system. I think you misunderstood the article.
Please re-read my sentence…I think, it is the other way around…
Willie Revillame can be President or a Senator someday, but not an SC Justice
It’s safe to say that it is every unlikely that Willie Revillame will ever be a Supreme Court justice. But can we be just as certain with regard to the prospect of Revillame possibly making a bid for a seat in Congress or even the Presidency someday? Among the three branches of the Philippine government, it is only the judiciary that requires specialist expertise in the officers who serve within it. Compare that to the executive and legislative branches where actors, boozers, retards, rapists, has-been comedians, and other losers and misguided mutineers all have a better-than-average shot at a lucrative seat within them.
So it is a bit of a head-scratcher to see the sort of moronic arguments that pervade the Philippine National “Debate” today. The following words published by the Inquirer.net Editor encapsulates the ambient idiocy that captures the national imagination today…
What is wrong with this point of view? Simple. It pits the popularity that mandates service in the executive branch against the logical rigor that underwrites service in the judicial branch. Granted that the logic applied by Supreme Court justices may often be flawed or tainted by agendas, there is a framework — the legal framework — that provides a construct against which the quality of said logic may be evaluated. In contrast, for the executive and legislative branches, there is only “the people’s will”. With this “people’s will” as the only construct upon which any evaluation of the posturings of the officers of the executive and legislative branches can be made, every argument, every discussion, and every speculation can only lead to a thinking stopper — politics.
Top Gun blogger Ben Kritz sums it up in a single statement: The Court of Public Opinion is not Part of the Justice System. Though politics may, if allowed to, taint the credibility of the High Court, there will always be due process and a crystalline frame of reference to clarify the muddle. No amount of popular opinion will break that which is right by the Law — a law whose key components were formulated by representatives elected on the basis of this same popularity.
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basa ka kasi ng basa ng Inquirer. Hahaha. Super biased yang grupong yan, meron sila laging ulterior motive. Mula ng tinigilan ko pagbasa dyan aba’y bumaba blood pressure ko at at na relaks ako bigla!!! Basically pag galing sa Inquirer, take it with a grain of salt. Para din yang galing sa ABS-CBN. Meron silang sariling mundo.
You got that right, man. I-spread mo yung word na ‘to sa mga kaibigan at kapamilya (ahem, pun intended, hehe) mo. Turuan natin ang mga kapwa natin na wag maniwala sa media. Thanks.Â
We can have Wowoowee SC Justice in the Philippines. The unthinkable can happen in our country. Don’t discount it…We have whores…we have imbeciles…we have C.I.A. stool pigeons…we have actors playing leaders in our Wowoowee politics. Our world has turned upside down.
I now, am beginning to believe the Theory that the Filipino DNA was cloned by the Extra Terrestials (ETs) called: “Annunaki” with the DNA of a stupid Chimpanzee…Genetic Engineering gone wrong…genome gone awry…
The 1st paragraph of this blog IS A SHOW THAT AMPATUAN SHOULD BE RETURNED TO MAGUINDANAO TO AMPATUANIZE AGAIN!!!!!!q
Ampatuan prosecution is a legalize form of legalize massacre of Ampatuan family!!!!
KAY GANDA NG PINAS!!!!! Â HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!
Vizconde Massacre investigation is like Trining Failon massacre. Â Surviving Failon is a peryodistas who should have known not to wipe clean the crime scene and he did anyways and he got away with it. Â If it were in benign0’s ‘hood, Failon would have been charged with obstruction of justice.
HA!HA!HA!HA!HA! Â KAY GANDA FILIPINAS!!!!!!!
I do not even have to comment on the decision of Supreme Court. Â Because my axiom “What goot is a goot President if 99.999% of Filipinos are not goot” still hold true. Â The decision of Supreme Court is based on tainted and witheld evidences that was not thoroughly investigated. Â Supreme Court has nothing to do with. Â
“What goot is a goot Supreme Court if 99.999% of filipin government employees are not goot”
HA!HA!HA!HA! Â KAY GANDA FILIPINAS!!!!!
If Hubert Webb is innocent, his family should have focused more on Biong who cleaned-up the messed allegedly upon the order of an influential figure. His the only person for sure who knew who ordered him.
And yes, the way the local authorities conduct themselves, it’s fairly easy for the rich to get the nod of SC by simply petitioning to review the evidence and local court proceedings.
J.B. Vizconde Massacring is like that idiot peryodista Failon. Â If this Failon is followed by many Flipinos therefore followers of Failon news are bunch of idiots!!!!!
Lookit, Supreme Court based their decision on what these idiot investigators has presented. Â SO WHO IS TO BLAME? Â Obviously … but I do not need to because the answer is very very very easy.
here’s a collection of sensationalized vizconde massacre news reports. do you think this is journalism? more like creative fiction writing to me.
The link is broken. Â But I can already imagine what she wrote there. Emo stuff I’m sure.
Lacson was right the justice system is a mess.
The reason why Lacson remained on the lam. Â Becaue he knows very well justice system is a mess and Filipinos easily get bought easy and can be threatened stiff. Â This goes down to Renato Pacifico’s axiom #69. Â “Who’d arrest the wang-wangers? Â Wang-wangers are impunity people. Â They are the powerful, wealthy, and, well connected” Â Not one traffic enforcer would dare stop wang-wanger. Â So does how our justice system works. Â HA!HA!HA!
PILIPINAS KAY GANDA!!!!!
bottomline is, reliance on testimonial evidence by persons in-charge with the investigation and those in-charge with the prosecution is the worst tradition in the philippine legal system.
its just sad that all other pending cases are in the same situation with investigators relying on testimonial evidence alone. Physical Evidence have more weight than testimonial evidence since things in contrast with persons don’t lie.Â
I won’t be shock that the amputuan case might end in the same way as that of the vizconde…tsk..
So true. 🙁
However one looks at the SC aquittal of Webb et. al, the State, through the NBI, Â has done a massive breach of its obligation to bring justice to the killing of Estrelita Visconde and her daughters. Â They have failed to equitably remedy the right of the Viscondes to secure a just investigation, prosecution and punishment. Â At the end of the day, Lauro Visconde and his family are the greatest victims of this whole circus. Â His loss will never be equivalent to the 15 years the Webbs lost. Â (Well, it is not even comparable.) Â At least, the families of the accused have their sons back. Â Lauro lost his entire family. It is a case of false equivalence to say that Webb and the Viscondes equally suffered. Â Obviously one suffered more.Â
In my opinion Jessica Alfaro is a mere pawn of the NBI. Â In it of itself, she is also a product of how our agencies resort to callous entrapment practices, haphazard evidence handling and bad crime storyboarding. Â It still eludes me what personal motivations Alfaro would have to accuse the Webb and others. Â Would mere publicity be enough motivation? Â Is it because she was protecting someone? Â Or was the pressure from the NBI too high to prosecute a “big fish”? Â
Not much has been said about the depth of the relationship between Alfaro and her former boyfriend, Peter Estrada (co-accused). Note also that Jessica Alfaro is a cousin of Michael Gatchalian, who was similarly accused in the murders. Â Because much of the attention was on Hubert, the other participants in the trial have had less attention. Â There was also the angle of Jessica protecting her brother Patrick (a known drug addict) Â against charges from the NBI. Â This angle was not pursued in the trial court because the judge sustained further questions on that facet based on prosecution’s objection of irrelevancy.
The eyewitness statements of Norman White, Mila Gaviola should have been given equal dissection equitable to that of Alfaro’s. Â (Mind you, i did not say merit – just dissection.) Â The account of Carlos Cristobal who said that the Florida flight had another Webb, not Hubert should have been dissected too. Â Note thatÂ CristÃ³bal said he was at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 10 a.m. for his United Airlines flight 808, scheduled to leave at 2 p.m. Â He said he met then-Congressman Webb and a male companion. He greeted the congressman, who replied â€œMabuti naman, at ito, ihahatid ko ang anak ko papuntang Florida [Iâ€™m fine. Iâ€™m seeing off my son whoâ€™s bound for Florida].â€ He said Webbâ€™s companion was as tall as the congressman. Â CristÃ³bal alleged that while watching the program Dong Puno Live, he saw Elizabeth Webb, the congressmanâ€™s wife, describe Hubert as moreno (tan) and about 5â€™7â€ tall and that Hubert left for the US on March 9. CristÃ³bal said what Mrs. Webbâ€™s description of Hubert, however, didnâ€™t match the features of the congressmanâ€™s companion on March 9.
Biong’s statements should have been looked into with greater weight. Â The statements of his girlfriend should’ve been thoroughly checked. Â Note though that all of Biong’s attorney petitions mirrored that of the Webb’s. Â When Webb petitioned for Judge Amelita Tolentino’s disqualification regarding the trial, Biong’s petition followed suit. Â When Webb filed for aÂ certiorari, prohibition and mandamus assailing Tolentino’s order prohibiting the cross-examination of Alfaro on the contents of her April 28 affidavit, Biong’s lawyers filed for the same petition. Â
It may well be worth to read the dissenting opinion of the judges who voted to upheld the lower courts decision. Â On the surface though, Â in my opinion, the way the dissenting opinion was written was more thorough than that of the majority decision. Â The writing style of the majority decision largely focused on Alfaro’s testimonies. Â The dissenting opinion had a more neutral writing style. Â Then again, it does not mean that writing style has any bearing on the decision of the case. Â But it seems to mirror the perspectives of how the opinions were reached. Â
Please read Judge Villarama’s dissneting opinion: Â http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2010/december2010/176389_villarama.htm
Upon reading transcripts of trial court, the CAs decision and the SC decision as well as other motions that went on during the celebrated trial, the two sides have quite interesting facets that one cannot completely dismiss the participation of Webb et al in the murders. Â However, the court calls for proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Â There is marked uncertaintly in the case. Â The lack of the ultimate evidenciary evidence to pinpoint whether Webb et al raped Carmelita is crucial. Â With the absence of the DNA sample, we will never really know the degree of innocence or guilt of Webb and his friends. Â The lack of evidence, though does not prove innocence, but it Â supposes legally that Webb et al is not guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Â
I think one day in jail would be enough to drive me crazy especially if I’m innocent.Â
That’s my problem with Hubert’s and his family’s reaction. It was too tame. If I were falsely accused and suffered for 15 years, I will surely lash back at those who made me suffer and get justice for us as well. But no, the Webbs are saints and angels. They have forgiven those who have “sinned” against them.
Dear Mr. Carlo J Caparas,
I believe this calls for 2 Vizconde movies. Part 2 being the surfacing of Jessica Alfaro and Part 3 the acquittal of Hubert and friends. All in all you have a Vizconde Trilogy, very nice for your pocket. And very good entertainment for the filipino masses.
Da Pinoy audience
They don’t need Caparas to make a movie. I heard Kris is now a movie producer so she can produce, direct and star in the new one. 😉
OH wow, that’s good to hear. I can now imagine her hoarding all the trophies at the next Famas awards night. 😀
1. The person or persons with the motive and power to kill the Viscondes belong to very powerful clans who can influence crime investigation and law enforcement agencies such as PNP, NBI, CIS etcâ€¦ these agencies have the controls to clean up EVIDENCES.
2. EVIDENCE is an object of the phraseâ€¦ â€œBEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.â€ If the evidence is GONEâ€¦ CASE IS GONE.
3. Thereforeâ€¦ if it is proven that BIONG â€œcleaned upâ€ the EVIDENCESâ€¦ the linkages of BIONG have the motives and power to kill the Viscondes.
4. EVIDENCE GONE is a CASE GONEâ€¦ within the LEGAL FRAMEWORK in any quasi-US/UK justice system person/s with motives or SUSPECTS will be â€œoff the hookâ€â€¦ WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT.
5. Solution: KILL THE LAUNDRY MANâ€¦ kill BIONG!!!
1. cleaning up evidence isn’t really needed, especially if the legal procedures for the law enforcement side are just as shoddy. Similar to the O.J. Simpson murder case and trial. Having certain people under the payroll helps.
2. Especially if it is HARD, PHYSICAL evidence.