Vizconde and a Tangled Webb

Today, the Supreme Court announced that Hubert Webb is an innocent man. The Highest Court of the land said the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Webb killed the Vizconde women. Mr. Webb has been incarcerated for 15 years.

Lauro Vizconde naturally broke down. His family were brutally slain. To discover Hubert Webb free, what human being wouldn’t be broken?

Lauro Vizconde will never truly have peace. His family dead and the only known killer he blames is free.

Over the years, we have come to know that evidence was mishandled and the crime scene ruined. Witnesses have come and gone. Conspiracy theories too. Whether it was orchestrated or not, it was that action that denied justice to Mr. Webb and to the Vizconde family.

The world will never truly know who killed those women. That is deplorable.

Hubert Webb regardless of what the Supreme Court says, will never be truly free. From the perspective of an innocent man, Mr. Webb lost his life. If Mr. Webb was truly innocent, then he is as much a victim as the women who died. Fifteen years is a long time, and whether or not the Supreme Court says he’s a free man, the stigma, the habits he learned while locked away, now marks him. The world he left in 1995 is a different world in 2010.

There is no justice in that.

If he was guilty, is 15 years and a life now virtually gone— enough punishment for the brutal murders?

There was no justice here. There are no winners. Justice denied the Vizconde family. Mr. Webb denied his life. And it is deplorable that we cannot provide real Justice to both the Vizcondes and the Webbs. They are just two families in ruin, forever shattered, and a nation reminded once more how fragile Justice is in these islands.

On twitter, @ageofbrillig wrote,

“@nerveending: When one seeks justice with a total disregard for the truth, then he seeks to create injustice.”

That’s where we begin to build justice. We need a mechanism to find the truth. Police need to be better trained and equip to handle crime scenes. Because after all is said and done, the evidence— that fundamental search for the truth in the beginning is always the most important, is it not?

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Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

  • jojo roxas

    Lest we forget, media was partly to blame for the bungled Vizconde case. Majority of the newspapers, radio and TV stations covered the hearings with a spin that Hubert et al were really guilty. Alfaro became an overnight sensation because of her testimonies against the suspects and she was even mobbed by “fans” during the hearing at the Paranaque regional court. The presumption was since Hubert and the other accused belong to well-off and influential families, they are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime. It was convenient and popular then to ask for the heads of Webb et al. Now after two decades, we are back to square one.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      yup Jojo. Media played the class war card on the case. They played the same card in the “Alabang Boys” buy-bust case. They played the same card in Morong 43. Both alabang and morong cases suffered from lapses in search, seizure, and arrest procedures. But the Morong 43 are going to be home soon while the Alabang Boys are still in jail.

  • jojo roxas

    Lest we forget, media was partly to blame for the bungled Vizconde case. Majority of the newspapers, radio and TV stations covered the hearings with a spin that Hubert et al were really guilty. Alfaro became an overnight sensation because of her testimonies against the suspects and she was even mobbed by “fans” during the hearing at the Paranaque regional court. The presumption was since Hubert and the other accused belong to well-off and influential families, they are guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime. It was convenient and popular then to ask for the heads of Webb et al. Now after two decades, we are back to square one.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      yup Jojo. Media played the class war card on the case. They played the same card in the “Alabang Boys” buy-bust case. They played the same card in Morong 43. Both alabang and morong cases suffered from lapses in search, seizure, and arrest procedures. But the Morong 43 are going to be home soon while the Alabang Boys are still in jail.

  • Manuelbuencamino

    cocoy,

    Webb was innocent because he proved he was in the US at the time of the crime. Unlike the judge, I don’t believe in bi-location.

    But don’t you just love the timing of the court? The webb decision was supposed to be announced last november but the court moved the date to january.

    what a great coincidence that the webb decision came immediately after the eo1 decision. it killed that story for sure.

    • cocoy

      Yep. Good timing!

  • Manuelbuencamino

    cocoy,

    Webb was innocent because he proved he was in the US at the time of the crime. Unlike the judge, I don’t believe in bi-location.

    But don’t you just love the timing of the court? The webb decision was supposed to be announced last november but the court moved the date to january.

    what a great coincidence that the webb decision came immediately after the eo1 decision. it killed that story for sure.

    • cocoy

      Yep. Good timing!

  • Anonymous

    Pinoys-in-Pinas love to say “… if you have nothing to hide, if you are not guilty, then why don’t you submit to trials?” PresNoyNoy has said this many times about Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, bert and Manuel Buencamino, Ellen Tordesillas, too — many have mentioned this about Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    The Hubert Webb case is answer to this question. One may be “…not guilty” as Hubert Webb is, but that does not mean that Hubert Webb did not spend years in jail Why would anyone who believes he/she is not guilty want to risk spending years in jail waiting for the “…not guilty” that may arrive ten or fifteen years later?

    One of Noynoy’s allies is already proof of this — Ping Lacson simply refuses to return to the courts and to be subject to Noynoy Administration Department of Justice procedures.

    If your father, aunt, grandmother, niece… if you ever get in trouble with the law —- get a lawyer. At stake may be three weeks, fifteen weeks, three years or fifteen years.

    When you can’t afford to take a leave of absence — without pay!!! — from your job, when you have money to protect, when you have a reputation to protect… and especially when you have a very eager police or Department of Justice that wants to prove their competence and love of nation by convicting you —- be very careful.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      up,

      are you using the webb case to justify the killing of impeachment complaints and the use of executive privilege in congressional hearings?

      now a word on “… if you have nothing to hide, if you are not guilty, then why don’t you submit to trials?”

      there’s a big difference between criminal trial and an impeachment trial; and a criminal trial and a congressional investigation.

      I have always said why not submit to congressional investigations and allow the impeachment process to proceed? I never said why not submit to a trial.

      Killing an impeachment or frustrating a congressional hearing is the same as hindering a criminal investigation. It is obstruction of justice.

  • Anonymous

    Pinoys-in-Pinas love to say “… if you have nothing to hide, if you are not guilty, then why don’t you submit to trials?” PresNoyNoy has said this many times about Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, bert and Manuel Buencamino, Ellen Tordesillas, too — many have mentioned this about Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    The Hubert Webb case is answer to this question. One may be “…not guilty” as Hubert Webb is, but that does not mean that Hubert Webb did not spend years in jail Why would anyone who believes he/she is not guilty want to risk spending years in jail waiting for the “…not guilty” that may arrive ten or fifteen years later?

    One of Noynoy’s allies is already proof of this — Ping Lacson simply refuses to return to the courts and to be subject to Noynoy Administration Department of Justice procedures.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      up,

      are you using the webb case to justify the killing of impeachment complaints and the use of executive privilege in congressional hearings?

      now a word on “… if you have nothing to hide, if you are not guilty, then why don’t you submit to trials?”

      there’s a big difference between criminal trial and an impeachment trial; and a criminal trial and a congressional investigation.

      I have always said why not submit to congressional investigations and allow the impeachment process to proceed? I never said why not submit to a trial.

      Killing an impeachment or frustrating a congressional hearing is the same as hindering a criminal investigation. It is obstruction of justice.

  • Anonymous

    Double jeopardy is such a powerful concept. With a court decision that Hubert Webb is not guilty, then any further attempt to convict him gets stopped.

    Attempting to convict a person found not guilty is not allowed, at least in the court of law. Convicting a person in the court of public opinion — always an option.

    • Anonymous

      The answer would be “… so it does not clog up the dockets”, but it sounds so wrong to have a statute of limitations on murder.
      —————————–
      “Beyond 2011, whoever did it (the Vizconde murders) can no longer be tried in court.” The 20-year prescriptive period is provided for in the Revised Penal Code.
      The count begins upon the discovery of the crime—which, in the Vizconde case, would be June 30, 1991.

  • Anonymous

    Double jeopardy is such a powerful concept. With a court decision that Hubert Webb is not guilty, then any further attempt to convict him gets stopped.

    Attempting to convict a person found not guilty is not allowed, at least in the court of law. Convicting a person in the court of public opinion — always an option.

    • Anonymous

      The answer would be “… so it does not clog up the dockets”, but it sounds so wrong to have a statute of limitations on murder.
      —————————–
      “Beyond 2011, whoever did it (the Vizconde murders) can no longer be tried in court.” The 20-year prescriptive period is provided for in the Revised Penal Code.
      The count begins upon the discovery of the crime—which, in the Vizconde case, would be June 30, 1991.