MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE) New witnesses hounded by guilt in the gruesome Vizconde massacre have offered to take the witness stand if the dismissed case would be reopened, the chief of the Public Attorneys Office said Friday.
?There are witnesses who have been calling us who say their conscience bothered them and said they are interested in revealing the truth,? said PAO chief Atty. Persida Rueda-Acosta.
?For the past few days, there are already five people who called me, willing to give vital information on the case,? she said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday acquitted Hubert Webb and six others in the killing of Estrellita Vizconde and daughters Carmela and Jennifer on June 30, 1991 in their house at BF Homes, Parañaque City.
Acosta said her office would file a motion for reconsideration on behalf of widower Lauro Vizconde seeking to reverse the ruling of the high tribunal before the 15-day period lapses on December 30.
At the same time, Acosta maintained that Jessica Alfaro was a credible witness and was never a National Bureau of Investigation agent or asset, contrary to what the Supreme Court said in its ruling.
Acosta was part of the original prosecution team, which led the successful conviction of Webb and his companions.
The PAO chief said they may attach to the motion for reconsideration a supplement of statements from new witnesses which she said would prove that Webb was in the country at the time of the murders.
She said a son of a retired associate justice could prove that Webb had been playing basketball with him a few days before the massacre. Webb argued that he was in the US when the crime happened.
But Acosta said a new investigation would point to several infirmities in the decision, like Webb's failure to present the original passport to prove he was in the US that fateful day.
"They only presented a xerox copy of the passport. Where is the passport? Why did they refuse to show it to court? They have a lot of documents but are they authenticated?" she said.
Meanwhile, retired National Bureau of Investigation director Mariano Mison maintained that Alfaro was an eye witness.
?We did our job and we did it well,? Mison said, adding that Alfaro had inconsistencies in her first and second affidavit because she executed them without the presence of a lawyer.
He said Alfaro?s first affidavit was taken in the presence of the late NBI agent Artemio Sacaguing, who later testified for the accused.
?He (Sacaguing) had destroyed the bureau?s credibility several times by testifying for the accused and tainting our investigation. Jessica (Alfaro) didn?t trust him,? Mison said.
Peter Rivera, former NBI deputy director who headed the investigation, added that they also received intelligence reports that Sacaguing had been paid to testify for the defense panel.