We have ruled that accused-appellant may not invoke the acquittal of the other conspirators to merit the reversal of his conviction for murder. De Lima said they could still go after Filart and Ventura, as well as the Villadolid brothers, since the prescriptive period of 20 years for homicide does not apply to them because they were abroad. This contradicted Hubert Webb's claim that he was in the United States from March 9, 1991, to October 27, 1992. It was based on the rule of the minority and not the majority as they (the SC justices) had enunciated in Fortich v. February 26, 2021. . 176864), it became one of the most sensational cases in the Philippines, being described as a "trial of the century". Biong was released from jail on November 30, 2010, after serving his sentence. 187745. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua and ordered to indemnify the Vizconde family Php 3 million for the murders. Herbas had testified for the defence instead of the prosecution when the Abadilla did not fulfil his promise to give him (Herbas) exactly the same salary he was receiving and when he was told that he would no longer be presented as witness because the testimony of Alejo would be sufficient. 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. Movie producers and directors rode the wave of public outcry by creating true-to-life films based on such heinous crimes. Alfaro could not possibly prove the relationship between Hubert and Carmela, as they were strangers to each other, and Alfaro also could not have possibly identified the other accused because all of them were strangers to her. He and six others spent 15 years in jail. Call 896 6000. 185123/G.R. They cannot be the bases of conviction as they cannot substitute for the constitutional requirement of proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Vizconde massacre. 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. As a result, the court reverses the decision of the Court of Appeals, and acquits Webb, et al. The Villadolid brothers were mentioned by a certain Rhoda Pujanes alias Dang, who claimed she overheard Villadolid and his friends, including Miguel Rodriguez and Michael Gatchalian (both co-accused of Webb), talking about the massacre during a pot session in 1991. [65] One team uncovered Black Maria, a woman whom one witness said had told him she was with Webb's group inside the Vizconde home and saw the crime take place. 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". Episode on July 5, 2011 Tuesday after Saksi! All of these had been applied in acquitting the accused in the Vizconde case, which is contradictory to its earlier decision affirming the conviction of the Abadilla Five. The Vizconde massacre made headlines in the Philippines in the '90s and started a trend in filmmaking. 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. The massacre and surrounding events were depicted in the 1993 film The Vizconde Massacre Story (God Help Us!) 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. The lower courts, however, reasoned that "Webb's alibi cannot stand against Alfaro's positive identification of him." Alejos testimonies in open court were also not consistent to what he had said to the police investigators immediately after the murder. Among those present were former Vice President Teofisto Guingona; Arsenio Boy Evangelista, father of carjack victim Venson Evangelista; Dacer-Corbito witness Cezar Mancao and his lawyer Ferdinand Topacio; and members of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC). [165] The discrepancies between a sworn statement and testimony in court do not outrightly justify the acquittal of an accused,[166] as testimonial evidence carries more weight than an affidavit. References: She admitted to knowing Webb and company but denied knowledge of the Vizconde massacre, NBI Death Investigation Division head Romulo Asis said. A local elected official whos being groomed to run for a national office is being sold to the highest bidder by the politicians spouse. Manila Times Special Report on the Vizconde Case, G.R. No two persons have the same DNA fingerprint, with the exception of identical twins. That's all crap! 182555/G.R. 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. Their original conviction was capital punishment but their sentence was modified to life imprisonment when the death penalty was abolished. 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. Remember that death is the ultimate equalizer. No. Like the accused in the Vizconde case and for any other cases for that matter, the accused in the Abadilla murder case also deserve equal protection of the law. [10] According to the footage of the trial, Alfaro had been able to identify all the defendants by their names. Jubilation by the citizenry greeted the report of his appointment. [56][62][63][64] Dang claimed to have heard Dong Villadolid shouting at the top of his voice, saying they had raped and killed a certain Maria (presumed to be Maria Carmela Vizconde) and other persons. Still seeking justice for his family's grim fate, Lauro Vizconde exhausts all resources available to him. Your subscription could not be saved. "[29] In general, the court said that Alfaro's story "lacks sense or suffers from inherent inconsistencies. This policewoman is either ignorant of the law or plain lazy. Knowing this, I cannot but hesitate to swallow everything that Alejo said at the trial. Hello friends! Methinks one year would give Eleazar ample time impose his brand of discipline on one of the most undisciplined police forces in the world. The details of how they were killed were grim. 124871, May 13, 2004. [47], On December 28, 2010, new witnesses have come forward accusing Hubert Webb and others of allegedly being behind the Vizconde massacre. It is hard to believe this there is a record of supposed arrival from other country but no record of departure in 1991 or in any month of 1991, she said. After 15 years behind bars, Hubert Webb and 5 others in the Vizconde massacre case (Manila-Philippines) were released from prison on Tuesday. But to Judge Amelita Tolentino of the Paranaque Regional Trial Court, the truth was the account of star witness Jessica Alfaro. The case remained unsolved for almost four years until eyewitness, Jessica Alfaro Testified that Hubert Webb is the lead suspect and responsible of the crime committed. 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. The prescription period does not matter to me, its just a date, he said. The defense questioned Alfaro's credibility noting that she admitted to being under the influence of drugs when she allegedly witnessed the crime and had made inconsistent statements on her two affidavits. 176864 People of the Philippines vs. Hubert Webb, et. Hong Kong Thus, her testimony could not be admitted. The SC also held that it was possible for Alfaro to know the details about the Vizconde killings because she had prior access to the details that the investigators knew of the case. After the Mass, VACC founding chair Dante Jimenez urged Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against the seven Supreme Court justices who either voted to acquit Webb and coaccused or abstained from voting last December. [2] Two of the accused remain fugitives from the law: Joey Filart and Artemio Ventura. On October 1, 1996, Judge Amelita Tolentino admitted only 10 of the 142 pieces of evidence the defense presented. I am not an NBI agent nor an NBI asset. In rejecting the defence of the accused, the SC also affirmed the conjecture the CA had put forward as to the possibility that the accused could have been present or somewhere at the vicinity where the crime took place, as mentioned below: On Joel de Jesus, it was not impossible for him to have gone also Katipunan Avenue (from Quezon City where he was driving), which is also part of Quezon City, not to mention the fact that with his tricycle, he could have easily moved from one place to another; On Rameses de Jesus and Lenido Lumanog, their claims lack credence as they are unsupported by the testimonies of independent witnesses. vs. People of the Philippines et al., 1997, G.R. Cabanacan said Webb had entered the subdivision (where the Vizconde house was located) a few days before the massacre and that he even identified himself as the son of then Congressman Webb. The case was featured on a Philippine TV show Case Unclosed as its ninth episode, "Vizconde Massacre Case. [15] The accused alleged that by rejecting 132 of the 142 pieces of evidence, Tolentino had set the tone for their conviction. June 14, 1993 - Vizconde Massacre solved; 'brains,' three others fall Police finish investigation of the Vizconde case with the arrest of the suspected mastermind and three other suspects,. 176864. Indeed, her superior testified that she volunteered to play the role of a witness in the Vizconde killings when she could not produce a man she promised to the NBI. No. Includes gruesome real photos from the crime scene. Webb wanted Alfaro, the then-girlfriend of one of the accused men, Peter Estrada, to join them because Estrellita Vizconde only allowed her daughter to go out and entertain female visitors. a contribution to Human Rights work, Asian Human Rights Commission vs. Raul de Leon et. Originally, there were seven accused charged in this case. On April this year, the Webbs filed an urgent motion to acquit when they found out that the NBI no longer has custody of the specimen that was taken from the body of the rape victim, Carmela Visconde. [54] He was laid to rest at Manila Memorial Park Sucat on February 17. The prosecutors, the RTC and the CA have been made aware of this fact by the defence. Sources from the Department of Justice said Webb, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court last December, 2010, was in the country during and after the crime happened in . Massacre case in 1991 Webb was accused of raping Carmela Vizconde, 18, who was killed in her family's Paraaque home on June 30, 1991. This is one of the most controversial and widely publicised massacre cases because of the involvement of the son of a former Philippine . Abadilla Case Decision from the Court of Appeals:http://campaigns.ahrchk.net/abadilla5/docs/A5-CAdecision.pdf. 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. [60] Mario, a hair stylist during the period June 1991, testified that Webb, along with Tony Boy Lejano and Dong Ventura had their haircut. No. Remember when I made the disclosure that someone is pressuring the justices to vote for a reversal? Eighteen-year-old daughter Carmela was raped, and had 17 stab wounds. But Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, who concurred with the decision, wrote strongly against basing judgement on conjectures: Facts decide cases. The SC required this test as necessary before a testimony of positive identification could be accepted as credible and with merit. Secondly, the SC affirmed the CAs assertion that Alejo was a credible witness ignoring the questions to his credibility by arguing that: positive and unequivocal declaration is sufficient to support a conviction for murder against appellants. And while justice seems elusive, life must go on, Vizcondes grandniece Katherine Asuncion said, reading from a family statement. Ateneo law professor Alan Paguia: "The order of release is questionable as it appears to be undemocratic. Executive M/Sgt. The fight is not over. Suspicions, no matter how strong they are, must never sway judgment. I will kill you, brandishing a shiny revolver. Among the defense witnesses was Artemio Sacaguing, a former, now deceased NBI official who testified that Alfaro was an NBI asset who only volunteered to assume the role of the eyewitness when she could not produce the actual witness to the Vizconde killings. On January 4, 2000, the Regional Trial Court of Paranaque City rendered its judgement finding all the accused guilty as charged imposing a penalty of life imprisonment. The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption(VACC) asked Justice Antonio Carpio and his cousin Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales to take a leave while the case is being decided to avoid undue influence on the court's decision. She did not know nor met any of them. Eh di sana may sweldo ako. On June 30, 1991, Estrellita Vizconde and her two daughters: Carmela and Jennifer, were found lifeless inside their home in Paraaque. I can't express enough how sad and unjust today's story. [2][20], The court ruled that the Paraaque RTC was correct in sentencing Webb et al. As a host of the program that carries my surname, I and my all-female staff have handled complaints from citizens, concerning abusive or arrogant policemen and other government functionaries. InAbadilla case: The SC affirmed the CAs judgement as inconclusive the use of forensic evidence, for example, the fingerprints and ballistic test results, showing that none of the five accused had their fingerprints match to those extracted from the murder victims car. I got involved in the case after Webb told me Hubert, whose name was slowly cropping up in news reports as a prime suspect, was in the United States when the dastardly crime happened. Webb's reliance on the presumption of regularity of official functions, stressing the fact that the US-INS certifications are official documents, is misplaced. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to draw the attention of the Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines to its recent decision on two well-known cases tried in the lower courts; the conviction in the Vizconde Massacre case was overturned while that of the Abadilla murder case was affirmed. Acting solely on Alfaros testimony, the Department of Justice (DoJ) filed charges of rape with homicide against the eight accused on August 1995. 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. This was how Lauro Vizcondes relatives summed it up on Thursday night after a Mass marking the 20th anniversary of the death of his wife Estrellita and daughters Carmela and Jennifer. Those initially jailed for. The SC rendered its judgment on the Abadilla case on September 7 and on the Vizconde case on December 14 of this year [2010]. Under the law, prosecutors of a murder case are given 20 years from the time it occurred or the time it was discovered to identify suspects and charge them in court. To support this, Webb presented a Certification issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service of August 31, 1995 confirming that his entry into that country was recorded. The court also said the same for the issue of the garage light: she claimed that Ventura climbed the car's hood, using a chair, to turn the light off. G.R. The prosecution did not present him as their witness during the trial. During the trial, accused Webb made a defence of alibi claiming that he was in the United States when the massacre of the Vizcondes happened. Published July 4, 2011 7:24pm. Alfaro said Estrellita was killed before Webb began to rape Carmela. [8] If, on examination, the DNA of the subject specimen does not belong to Webb, then he did not rape Carmela. 2. The Vizconde massacre has been dubbed as the trial of the century as the accused hailed from prominent families of the Philippines. For example, it rejected as not impartial the corroborating testimony of Augusto Santoss brother-in-law that he was at the hospital with him when Abadilla was murdered. Her mother, Estrellita, 47, and sister, Jennifer, 7, were also killed. He alleged that he could not forget Webb because Biong had allegedly threatened him, Do not cheat him. He adds, this Court takes judicial notice of reported irregularities and tampering of passports in the years prior to the recent issuance by the Department of Foreign Affairs(DFA) of machine-readable passports. In a 38-page strongly-worded decision promulgated on Tuesday, the . Am I dismayed by the decision of the (Supreme Court)? The SC, however, upheld the RTC and the CAs judgement that the defence of alibi of the accused is a weak defense, (and that) for it to prosper, the accused must prove not only that he was at some other place at the time of the commission of the crime, but also, that it was physically impossible for him to be or within its immediate vicinity. She took advantage of her familiarity with these details to include in her testimony. Herbas and Alejo worked for the Abadillas as security guards. 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. It took the trial and appeal process in this case fifteen years. My program is the originalsumbungan ng bayan sa radyo(roughly, citizens complaint center on radio). After the shooting, he could have easily and quickly transferred to Camp Crame between 9:00 and 9:30 in the morning. starring Kris Aquino as Carmela Vizconde. No. I incurred the ire of the citizenry, including some of my fellow columnists in theInquirer,for my defense of Hubert.