When the brutal murders of the Vizconde women and rape of one of them happened in 1991, I was just six years old back then.
I’ve seen the movie once back when I was in high school and up until the promulgation of the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday, I believed that Hubert Webb, et al. deserved to be behind bars.
But after reading up on the case, the decision of the Court including the separate and dissenting opinions, I’ve had a change of heart. Mainly because my interest and growing passion for the law has led me to believe that every one who’s charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guitly beyond reasonable doubt.
That was what the Supreme Court said yesterday, it is still doubtful that Hubert Webb et. al. were indeed guilty. So they, under our laws, deserve to be free. There’s no question that there was a grave injustice done to the Vizconde’s, but it would be another injustice to jail Webb et al since starting yesterday they were still presumed to be innocent.
I say ‘presumed innocent’ because up to now, the truth remains elusive. I cannot pass judgement on Webb and his co-accused because I’m not sure of it. And if would be unfair to pass judgement knowing that I am not in the best position to do so. Heck, even the Supreme Court is unsure whether Webb, et al. were guilty or not.
What affects all of us is that besides the truth behind the Vizconde massacre remains a mystery, we have been shown another truth; that our justice system remains to be dysfunctional, perverted and corrupted.
It’s not the Supreme Court alone or the justices themselves but the entire system. From the police, to the prosecutors, to the NBI to the lower courts.
It’s not just because of power, money, connections and influence, it is with the values of the people who call themselves public servants and officials. Worse, the ordinary citizens who blindly accept them and even conspire with them for their own selfish interests.
I refuse to believe that most people are not aware of this truth. But what’s more tragic and saddening than the continuing injustice to the Vizconde’s is that we are still to turning a blind eye to this reality; that the system is rotten, broken and allowing ourselves to be screwed by it over and over again.