Monday, January 17, 2011

What I think of Hubert Webb Acquittal?

 ~This is one of my previous essay in completion with my subject on Legal Writing this semester.

I think the recent acquittal of Hubert Webb and company created a lot more questions than answers not just to the people directly involved such as Mr. Lauro Vizconde and the Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC) but to all people around the Philippines and even abroad that followed the proceedings of the so-called “trial of the decade” or the Vizconde Massacre from the Regional Trial Court, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

I have read, heard and viewed several opinions, commentaries and interviews of the both parties involved in this landmark case – mainly Vizconde and Webb. Still both camps have endless questions, and one key question was if Webb and company are not the real perpetrators, who would it be?

The Supreme Court’s main contention that the testimony of the star witness Ms. Jessica Alfaro were not credible and also the witness herself cannot be credible is a matter of “trial of facts” to which the lower courts have the task at hand to perform, the Supreme Court being the highest court of the land has the power to review decisions of the lower courts as well as the Court of Appeals.

The decision of the Supreme Court created another question, why the high court is now a trial of facts? The credibility of witnesses and their testimony are best observed in the lower courts where the judges can directly and personally observe the actuations, reactions, speech and body language among others of the witnesses. While in the Supreme Court, the justices are just facing and reading the voluminous records and transcripts of the proceedings from the lower courts.

Also, the question of who are now the real perpetrators are still left hanging in the air.Will this question remain unanswered as the case remains unsolved? It would have been more ideal, justifiable and acceptable if upon the acquittal of Mr. Webb and company, the Supreme Court or any related government agency have captured or pinpointed the real criminals. This would have really put an end to this two decade proceedings.

Now, the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Mr Lauro Vizconde I think will just be in any way dismissed by the High Court, for the reason that nobody can be put into double jeopardy, meaning you cannot file the same case and respondent twice. The acquittal has ended the battle of Mr. Lauro Vizconde against Mr. Webb and company.

I feel sorry to Mr. Vizconde that until now justice seemed to be so hard for him to achieve. I just want to believe that if he cannot get justice here on earth, in heaven, he will.

~January 8, 2011

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