Thursday, November 4, 2010

On Vizconde Massacre, Hubert Webb and the Quest for True Justice (1st in Series of 3)

As we speak of women's issues on this blog, it is impossible to miss one that has gripped the consciousness of Filipinos for years.

The Vizconde Massacre is a harrowing story of violence inflicted against women---a proof that it happens even inside one's own home in a gated community of a bustling city. The brutal killings of the Vizconde women stunned the nation and started a serious quest for justice.

But the quest proved to be a long one. The story of the Vizconde Massacre wasn't just a single story; it varied as told by a number of witnesses. It was hard to tell which made up the truth and the lies.

But to Judge Amelita Tolentino of the Paranaque Regional Trial Court, the truth was the account of star witness Jessica Alfaro. She found Hubert Webb and friends and seven other young men – all scions of wealthy and prominent clans – guilty beyond reasonable doubt hence, sentencing them to life imprisonment. (Note: According to Webb, he only knows two of the seven other accused.)

Justice, then, seemed to have been served.

* * *

Ten years later, the public has taken a revived interest on the Vizconde Massacre albeit, on a different light. Crucial details and untold stories from the trial that ran for years have surfaced. These include a denied request for DNA testing by Hubert Webb's camp, inconsistencies in eye witness accounts, an unacknowledged note verbale from the US government, and so on.

It seems that the quest now has become Justice for Hubert Webb.

* * *

I find all those details disturbing. For somebody who literally grew up with the slow development of the Vizconde Massacre case, I had to rack my brains to find out why I was bent on believing certain things at the time the Paranaque RTC trial ran from 1995 to 2000. (Of course, given my age then, my opinions were not as better-founded as now.)

It has been 15 years since the name of Hubert Webb surfaced as a prime suspect in the Vizconde Massacre. If Hubert Webb was innocent, then it means that he lost 15 years of his life by being kept in bars for a crime he did not do. Likewise, it means that justice has never been really served for the Vizcondes.

The Supreme Court should assess the case of the Vizconde Massacre with a fresh perspective. This time, they should put due consideration to the evidences presented by Webb's camp, which were mostly not accepted by the RTC and Court of Appeals.

I refuse to take a stand regarding the guilt or innocence of Hubert Webb; instead, I call for due process and a fair trial. Justice should not be about putting men behind bars just for the sake of naming perpetrators. It's easy to lose the essence of the quest for justice along the lines of power, politics and personalities.

The Vizconde Massacre remains unsolved.


  1. It was NEVER beyond reasonable doubt. This trial was politicized from the start. How can you fake documents from the US Embassy?

    And I can't believe Mr. Vizconde's attitude about this, he just wanted to bring Hubert behind bars and not really know the truth about his family's death. Why did he celebrate when the court denied Hubert's request for DNA testing? That would have told the truth about everything. Did he really want justice? Or did he just want someone to blame? How can he sleep at night knowing that there is some doubt in the verdict?

  2. Well I'm not convinced one way or the other, but if you believe the propaganda from the Webb's at this stage including the DNA story then you would be misled into making a judgment of innocent. Ask yourself this, why did the Webb's seek DNA analysis in Novemebr 1997, when the semen swab was first presented in court in February 1996? Secondly, when the semen swab was introduced in court, why did NEITHER the defense or prosecution mark it as evidence? One could say when you willingly guess the evidence away you then go for the "but it's missing route". There's more to this case, and judging it is not as easy as all seem to make it of late. What you all forget is that the court of appeals has already dismissed an appeal, it therefore goes beyind Tolentino.

  3. Thanks for sending your comments. Whether you agree or not on the views expressed on this post, including the comments of other readers, I encourage everyone to exercise a healthy exchange of opinions. :-)

  4. just want to say guys that when this was still with the CA, it needed 5 justices to resolve the case, the first group which is compose of 3 had a hard time making a decision thus bringing another could read the dissenting opinion of the other 2 justices

  5. Thanks, Sasha. I think I've seen copies of that in scribd. I'll share the link.

  6. dear heels,
    your decision not to make a stand is sad. it is an indication that the webbs have succeeded into confusing you. kung talagang walang kasalanan si hubert, bakit sinunog ni boing yung ebidensya ? that alone is an indication that hubert is guilty of the crime. tapos yung maids na naglaba ng duguang damit ni webb, yung security guards ng bf homes and jessica alfaro all saw hubert on the day the massacre happened. ang daming nakakita kay hubert nung araw na nangyari yung krimen. so, naniniwala ka pa rin na inosente si hubert ?

  7. Hi, thanks for sending the comment. Pls feel free to view the links posted on this blog, as well as the scanned copies and highlights of the eyewitness testimonies and decisions handed by the Court of Appeals. Apparently, there are a lot of misconceptions on the case.

  8. well i guess u were referring to the movie you saw in theater c jessica po ay umamin na ADIK xa and lahat ng mga testimony nya eh paiba iba!

  9. Webb and the rest of gang has all the ingredients for creating the vicious crime.
    Look and study their backgrounds.

    Akyat bahay? Will they stab the victims more than 10 times each just to get several thousands worth of properties from the Visconde house?

  10. Hi, pls refer to this post for your info:

    Then let me know what you think. Thanks!