COUNSEL of convicted rapist Hubert Webb asked the Supreme Court (SC) for new oral arguments on the Vizconde massacre case, particularly on their motion for DNA analysis.
Webb, together with his seven co-accused, was tried and convicted by a Paranaque court for the June 30, 1991 murders of Carmela, her mother Estrellita and sister Jennifer Vizonde inside their home in Paranaque.
In a motion filed on June 25, lawyer Demetrio Custodio Jr. said Webb asked for the high court to allow him to submit a written memorandum in support of his prayer for acquittal.
He cited the “immense public interest” on the final outcome of the case that would set a precedent and have profound repercussions on the criminal justice system.
He said that as early as October 1997, Webb has been asking the court to allow semen specimen taken from the body of Carmela Vizconde be subjected to DNA analysis.
Since then, the law has finally caught up with the advances in science and technology, noting that in October 2007, the SC promulgated the Rule on DNA Evidence.
The SC, in a resolution issued last April 20, granted the motion of Webb to submit for DNA analysis the semen specimen extracted from Carmela and directed the National Bureau of Investigation to secure the specimen as evidence.
But the NBI said it has already turned over the required specimen to the trial court which heard the Vizconde massacre case.
Aside from Webb, also convicted by the trial court were Antonio “Tony Boy” Lejano, Michael Gatchalian, Hospicio "Pyke" Fernandez, Peter Estrada and Miguel “Ging” Rodriguez. An accessory to the crime, former policeman Gerardo Biong, was also sentenced to imprisonment of 12 years.
Webb’s conviction was affirmed by the CA on December 15, 2005 through a division then composed of Associate Justices Rodrigo Cosico, Regalado Maambong and Lucenito Tagle.
The case is now under review of the SC through petition for review filed by the Webb seeking reversal of their conviction. (JCV/Sunnex)