Update of Vizconde Case

By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

The Supreme Court (SC) is set to render a decision on the nearly two-decade-old Vizconde massacre case even without a DNA analysis that could be instrumental in the resolution of the case.

DNA (dioxyribonucleic acid) consists of the building blocks of the human body and can be obtained through blood samples and focal swab.

In a resolution dated Oct. 19, 2010, the SC said that it will proceed with resolving the case since the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) can no longer perform a DNA analysis on the specimen taken from victim Carmela Vizconde.

Carmela, her mother Estrellita and 16-year-old sister Jennifer were killed in their Parañaque home on June 29, 1991. Witness Jessica Alfaro claimed that Hubert Webb, son of former Senator Freddie Webb, raped Carmela before she was killed.

The SC held that the NBI could no longer produce the semen specimen or vaginal smears taken from Carmela’s body. Thus, the Court will decide based on the existing evidence and other records presented to it.

“The DNA analysis ordered by this Court… can no longer be done. The Court may now proceed to resolve the issues raised in the petition/appeal on the basis of existing evidence which may have been formally offered by the parties and/or made part of the records,” the SC said.

The latest SC resolution reversed its earlier resolution issued on April 20, 2010 granting Hubert Webb’s request for a DNA test on a specimen taken from Carmela.

The Vizconde family appealed the said resolution, saying that a DNA test may lead to Webb’s acquittal.

Webb was among the nine suspects whom the Paranaque City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 274 convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on Jan. 6, 2000.

The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld the sentence on Dec. 15, 2005 through a division then composed of Associate Justices Rodrigo Cosico, Regalado Maambong and Lucenito Tagle.

Both Cosico and Maambong have retired and Tagle is now a Comelec commissioner.

Webb elevated the case before the SC, asking for its review as well as the reversal of their conviction. (PNA)

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