New Vizconde massacre witness found
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said the government task force re-investigating the 1991 Vizconde massacre case has found another witness and was convincing him to come out in public and tell what he knows.
“We have someone we’re convincing to execute a statement and to undergo a lie detector test. That’s what we’re trying to do now,” De Lima said.
In December last year, the Supreme Court acquitted Hubert Webb and six others who were earlier convicted of killing Estrellita Vizconde and her daughters Carmela and Jennifer. Webb claimed he was in the United States when the crime took place.
The acquittal prompted the Department of Justice to order a reinvestigation of the case to determine the real culprits behind the gruesome killings. The Task Force Vizconde was created by the police and the National Bureau of Investigation to do the job.
Under the law, the prescription period for any new indictment expires on June 30, the 20th anniversary of the massacre.
Two possible suspects to the crime are now being investigated.
But De Lima and members of the task force remain unconvinced of the innocence of Hubert Webb of the 1991 gruesome murders although the passport he allegedly used in going to the US has been authenticated and want to find out if he actually used the travel document.
De Lima maintained yesterday that the authentication of Webb’s passport did not necessarily prove his innocence and that his alibi of being in the US at the time of the Vizconde massacre still had to be verified by the task force.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with members of TF Vizconde at the NBI headquarters, De Lima stressed, “The passport may be authentic but was he (Webb) the one who really used it? Did he really leave the country? We do not know and that would be the next task of the task force.”
She pointed out that it was possible that someone else could have used the passport in Webb’s place although she did not disclose how.
De Lima nevertheless revealed that the passport Webb allegedly used in going to the US prior to the Vizconde massacre, is authentic based on the findings of experts from the NBI and the Central Bank of the Philippines.
Webb had previously claimed that it was the same travel document he used when he flew to the US several months before the June 1991 massacre. Webb alleged as his alibi that he was in Orange County at the time of the commission of the crime.
“What is worth noting that experts had proven that Hubert Webb’s passport was not fake… It (passport) was a result of the examination of the NBI and the Central Bank. They tested it and found it to be true and the materials of the passport was really that of the passport issued by the Foreign Affairs department,” De Lima pointed out.