Chiong: Paco wants to return to PH jailCebu Daily News
NEARLY three years after being shipped off to Spain, Paco Larrañaga allegedly wants to return to the country to serve the remainder of his jail sentence.
Thelma Chiong, mother of the two slain rape victims, said this as she dismissed today’s “Justice Run” for Paco and his six convicted companions.
The run organized by friends and supporters of Larrañaga will start from Casino Español at 7:30 a.m. and end at Sacred Heart Church in D. Jakosalem Street led by “running priest” Fr. Robert Reyes.
He will celebrate mass at 10:30 a.m. marking the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits and patron saint of the Basque region where Larrañaga is currently imprisoned.
“They are running for nothing,” Chiong said.
“Even if they will run around the world, I don’t care. The case is over. Justice has been served. The run is useless,” she said.
Chiong, the national vice president of the Crusade Against Violence (CAV), said Larrañaga is uncomfortable with Spain’s jail system which doesn’t give special treatment to inmates.
Larrañaga, a Spanish citizen, was transferred to a jail facility in Spain in 2009 on the strength of the Treaty on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons between the Phillippines and Spain.
He and six others were convicted for the July 1997 kidnapping, rape and murder of 23-year-old Marijoy Chiong and her 20-year-old sister Jacqueline.
Marijoy’s remains were found in a ravine in Carcar City while Jacqueline’s body was never found.
Chiong said businessman Miguel del Gallego’s efforts to highlight the alleged innocence of Larrañaga is in vain.
Aside from Larrañaga, the late Judge Martin Ocampo also convicted were Josman Aznar, Rowen Adlawan, Alberto Cano, Ariel Balansag and brothers James Anthony and James Andrew Uy.
The Supreme Court later modified the offense to add murder and rape, and upgraded the penalty to death until President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo commuted their sentences to life terms in 2006.
Chiong said the High Court affirmed the conviction of the “Chiong Seven”
Gallego plans to arrange a Cebu screening of the award-winning documentary-film “Give Up Tomorrow” about Larrañaga and his experience of failing to get justice in Philippine courts.
The independent file is directed by New York-based Michael Collins and Filipino Marty Syjuco.
When asked about the documentary-film, Chiong said “It is true that Paco has no tomorrow.” /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter