Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hubert Webb and Others Acquitted in Vizconde Massacre

The Supreme Court Ruled: Acquit Hubert Webb and 6 others who were jailed for the Visconde Massacre in 1991.

Today, both camps organized a press conference to air their sentiments on the latest ruling of the highest court.

Here is an update from Thea Alberto of Yahoo News Philippines for more details:

Supreme Court acquits Webb, et al
By Thea Alberto – December 14th, 2010

UPDATE 4) The Supreme Court has acquitted the convicted murderers in the controversial decades-old Vizconde massacre case, reversing an earlier local court decision sentencing those accused of life imprisonment.

In a 34-page decision, Supreme Court said it “reverses and sets aside the Decision dated December 15, 2005 and Resolution dated January 26, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. 00336 and acquits accused-appellants.”

“For, it would be a serious mistake to send an innocent man to jail where such kind of doubt hangs on toone’s inner being, like a piece of meat lodged immovable between teeth,” the SC decision said.

“The court has acquitted Hubert Webb, Antonio Lejano, Michael Gatchalian, Pyke Fernandez, Miguel Rodriguez, Peter Estrada and Gerardo Biong,” Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez told a separate press conference.

Seven magistrates voted for the acquittal, four voted against, four others abstained.

The justices who voted in favor of the acquittal were: Associate Justices Roberto Abad; Conchita Carpio-Morales; Diosdado Peralta; Lucas Bersamin; Jose Perez, and Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

Those who dissented were: Chief Justice Renato Corona; Associate Justices Martin Villarama; Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, and Arturo Brion.

Associate Justices Antonio Carpio; Mariano del Castillo; Eduardo Nachura, and Presbitero Velasco meanwhile inhibited themselves from the case.

“The prosecution was not able to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” said Marquez.

Marquez added the Supreme Court also noted that the quality of testimonies of the witnesses, including those of Jessica Alfaro “could not be relied on.”

“It was more on the quality of witnesses presented by the prosecution. The quality of testimony and marked inconsistencies of the witnesses could not be relied on,” Marquez added.

Fritz Webb, brother of Hubert, earlier said the acquittal is the best Christmas gift for their family.

In a separate report, Lauro Vizconde had said he will respect the decision of the Supreme Court but he will ”criticize it” if Webb is freed. Volunteers against Crime and Corruption, a group backing Vizconde, said they are hoping the justices will be able to sleep at night.

On June 30, 1991 Estrellita, Carmela and Jennifer Vizconde were brutally killed inside the Paranaque abode.

Webb’s alibi was he was not in the country at the time and was actually in the United States.

Webb’s family earlier launched an online campaign seeking for Hubert’s freedom and provided the public their evidence that Hubert was not at the crime scene.

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