The lessons we can learn from the Vizconde massacre are: 1) that justice in the country runs so slow, 2) investigating officers are blundering fools, 3) the judges are corrupt, 4) and unlike the poor who rot in jail forever, the rich can always seek justice though how late that justice might be, 5) that we never ask the right questions on the acquittal of H. Webb and company.
Eleven years after they had been convicted of the crime of gang-rape-slay, and 15 years in prison, Hubert Webb and company were finally cleared by the SCORP. If 15 years languishing in jail without any patina of guilt in their souls is justice – then we have a horrendous concept of what justice is!
The recent decision of SCORP also took potshots at the lady judge whom they had elevated to the Court of Appeals, and whose scholarly brilliance is dimmed by their findings that she failed to take chief witness Jessica Alfaro by the horn by believing her story which was very incredible and full of potholes.
In the first place, the SCORP through its Judicial and Bar Council, screened their judges to the Bench. Now they are telling us that Justice Amelita Tolentino is an academic fraud who lacks the judicial mien and probity to sift through the monumental rubble of lies and distill the truth from these rubbles that could have freed much earlier from prison cells the scions of these well-privileged people.
Judge Tolentino must have been paid to put Webb and company to the gallows or she was ignorant of her duty as a judge as to tether these lily-white souls to prison cells that only genuine criminals befit these damp and decrepit prison walls.
But isn’t it the exclusive right of then Judge Tolentino, who has the opportunity to observe up close and personal the demeanor of the chief witness Ms. Alfaro to find this witness credible? Credibility is for the trial court to assess, not for the SCORP because these jurists will be simply reading the cold transcripts without the impassioned emotions, inflection of tone and fingernail tinkering which accompanied their narratives while they were being received in the sala of then Judge Tolentino. The trial judge who observed the demeanor of these witnesses in full display of their angst, fidgeting and pouting is more reliable in putting credence on their narrative than the SCORP jurists, who despite their perspicacity, cannot observe this behavior from their cloistered ivory towers.
Why did the SCORP tear-apart her theory of the case that it was Webb and company that were responsible for the gang-rape of Carmela, her death as well as the death of her mother and younger sister by selectively highlighting the unbelievable part of Ms. Alfaro’s narrative and the testimony NBI agent Sacaguing but not all the other evidence that convinced Judge Tolentino that it was Webb and company who did this ghastly crime? For example: Why didn’t the SCORP demolish the testimony of the Webb’s household helps that on the night of the incident, H. Webb went home and asked them to wash his bloodstained jacket and that the H. Webb certificate of entry to the US refers to Holland Webb.
My favorite law professor has an easy answer. If the SCORP arrives at particular position on the issue, it will pick-up from the records those that will support its position and downplay all others that are not in support.
Anyway, if Webb and company were not the real culprits, justice would still not be served because the criminals are out there lurking. Justice would not be served on Webb and company because they suffered 15 years in jail for a crime they did not commit because our investigators, prosecutors and judges who should be quarterbacking our judicial ramparts to ensure that only the guilty are punished are so incompetent and corrupt.
Luckily, Webb and company are rich and their plea was listened to by the SCORP but how about those who were not as privileged? Unfortunately, they could still be languishing in jail.
Or maybe we can ask Webb and Company how much money changed hands so they can get justice from the SCORP?
Can’t we just let these people go because they were innocent and not because they have the money, the influence and the adoring media that circled around them? These are the questions we must ask ourselves today- to find that that justice and truth in this country have a price tag that we ordinary mortals cannot afford. Which brings us to the supreme irony of this case: “The SCORP has no genuine interest in recruiting the most competent people in the judiciary for the more judges in the mold of Hon. Amelita Tolentino there are in court who love to screw rich people up, the more it will bring economic windfall to the reviewing court.”
But did she really screw-up this case big-time?