WHAT WENT BEFORE | Inquirer News


/ 02:25 AM June 28, 2011

On June 30, 1991, a mother and her two daughters were found dead in their own home at BF Homes, Parañaque City. Estrellita Vizconde, 47, had 13 stab wounds; 18-year-old Carmela had 17 wounds and was raped before she was killed; 7-year-old Jennifer had 19 wounds.

In 1995, confessed drug addict Jessica Alfaro surfaced and implicated scions of prominent families in the killings, leading to the filing of homicide and rape charges in the Parañaque Regional Trial Court.

In court, Alfaro testified that she was with Hubert Webb’s gang during a drug session when the son of former Sen. Freddie Webb hatched the plan to rape Carmela, that Estrellita was killed before the plan was carried out, and that Jennifer was killed while trying to protect Carmela from Webb.


Webb presented voluminous evidence, including his passport and other travel documents, video clips and photographs, and introduced 80 witnesses to back his claim that he was in the United States between March 1991 and October 1992 and could not have been involved in the crime.


In January 2000, then RTC Judge Amelita Tolentino convicted Webb, Antonio “Tonyboy” Lejano (son of actress Pinky de Leon), Michael Gatchalian and Miguel Rodriguez (sons of prominent lawyers), Peter Estrada (son of a wealthy businessman), and Hospicio “Pyke” Fernandez (son of a retired commodore) and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Two other accused remain at large—Joey Filart and Artemio “Dong” Ventura, said to be Alfaro’s boyfriend.

Police officer Gerardo Biong was convicted as an accessory for allegedly destroying evidence and was sentenced to 11-12 years in prison.

The Court of Appeals upheld the guilty verdict in December 2005.

Webb took his appeal to the Supreme Court in 2007 after the appellate court denied his motion for reconsideration.

DNA test


On April 20, 2010, the Supreme Court granted Webb’s petition for a DNA test to compare his semen with that taken from Carmela Vizconde.

But in a decision on Oct. 19, the high court said the DNA test could no longer be done after the National Bureau of Investigation said it “could no longer produce” the semen samples taken from the corpse.

On Oct. 28, Webb filed a motion asking the high court to acquit him and release him from the New Bilibid Prison. His lawyers argued that his constitutional right to due process was violated when the state, “through negligence or willful suppression, failed to produce the semen specimen that could have proven [his] innocence.”

On Nov. 23, the high court deferred action on the review of the case, including the motion for acquittal filed by Webb.

Justice Carpio

On Nov. 26, Lauro Vizconde in a TV interview accused Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio of lobbying for the acquittal of Webb et al. Carpio was said to be a close friend of Webb’s father. Then a private lawyer, Carpio testified in court to corroborate Webb’s alibi that he was in the United States when the murders occurred in 1991.

On Nov. 30, Biong was released from jail as records from the Bureau of Corrections showed he had completed his 12-year jail term.

On Dec. 14, Webb and his coaccused were acquitted by the high court and were ordered released from jail.

Two weeks later, Vizconde filed an 84-page motion for reconsideration seeking a “redeliberation” of the high tribunal’s ruling. The high court denied his motion in January.

The following month, Vizconde claimed it was Chief Justice Renato Corona himself who had told him about Carpio’s lobbying efforts.

Vizconde also said Associate Justice Jose Mendoza, when he was still an appellate court judge, also told him in a meeting a few years ago that the Webb family had P50 million in “lobby money” to get Webb acquitted.

According to Vizconde, also present at the meeting inside Mendoza’s Court of Appeals chambers were Supreme Court Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin (at that time also a Court of Appeals justice) and incumbent Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao.

All of the justices denied Vizconde’s allegations.

Another motion

Vizconde filed another motion for reconsideration, which the high court denied on Feb. 15, saying the tribunal’s decision was final.

The Department of Justice had initiated a reinvestigation of the Vizconde massacre case in an effort to beat the 20-year prescriptive period for criminal cases, which will expire on June 30.

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Inquirer Research Source: Inquirer Archives

TAGS: Crime, Hubert Webb, Joey Filart, Murder, Peter Estrada, Rape

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