Ex-NBI execs face off over Vizconde case

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Thursday, December 23, 2010


TWO former directors of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday faced off during a reinvestigation of the Vizconde massacre case to formalize their respective positions on who are the real perpetrators behind the 1991 killings.

Former NBI directors Epimaco Velasco and Mariano Mison were summoned in their capacity as resource persons by the interagency task force presided by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.

Velasco and Mison served as directors of the bureau during the initial stages of the probe on the massacre.

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Velasco was the head of the NBI from July 1992 to March 1995, while Mison took over in acting capacity until his appointment in July 1995 to February 1996.

Interviewed after the closed-door hearing, Velasco insisted on the innocence of Hubert Webb and his five co-accused namely Antonio Lejano, Michael Gatchalian, Peter Estrada, Hospicio Fernandez, and Miguel Rodriguez.

The Supreme Court earlier acquitted Webb and company of the rape with homicide charges, citing the failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt and the inconsistencies of its key witness, Jessica Alfaro.

“I maintain my position. It was not Hubert. Walang pruweba na magpapatunay na sina Hubert Webb ang pumatay,” Velasco told reporters.

On the other hand, Mison, who was the NBI director when Alfaro surfaced and pointed to Webb’s group as suspects, stood by the testimony of Alfaro.

“Hindi ako pabor sa naging desisyon ng Korte Suprema. Ginawa namin ang tama. Matagal na akong nagtitimpi. I refute all arguments,” he said, referring to aspersions cast against the credibility of the NBI with him at the helm when it filed the charges against the Webb camp, who comprised the third batch of suspects for the killings of Estrellita, Carmela and Jennifer Vizconde.

The two former NBI officials were invited by the task force to shed light on their conflicting opinions and how they reached their own conclusions about the complicity of Webb in the massacre.

The interagency task force has until June 30, 2011 to conclude its investigation and file charges against prospective respondents before the 20-year prescription period lapses. (JCV/Sunnex)

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