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
Justice, then, seemed to have been served.
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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.
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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.