MANILA, DECEMBER 15, 2010 (STAR) By Aurea Calica – President Aquino today said he sympathized with Lauro Vizconde after the Supreme Court reversed the conviction of Hubert Webb and the other accused in the Vizconde massacre.

But the President and the Palace refused to comment any further, saying it would be up to the SC to explain its decision to the public.

"Initially of course we sympathize with Mr. Lauro Vizconde. I asked for a briefer to be prepared," the President said in a text message.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said it was not for Malacanang to comment on why the case took 19 years to be decided on with finality and why the accused were convicted.

“How they came up with the decision is entirely up to the Supreme Court to explain and let their spokesperson explain it,” Lacierda said.

“The Palace has no position one way or the other on the Vizconde case. We leave it entirely to the parties to comment on that,” he added.

Lacierda said it was irrelevant that the final ruling on the case was done under the Aquino administration.

“The case was decided based on the assessment of the justices on the appeal. So we can’t comment any further than that. Again, it’s a decision made entirely by a separate branch of government so we leave it up to them. Why it took 19 years? That’s for them to decide and not for us to comment on,” Lacierda said.

“It has no impact (on the Aquino administration) because it is, with all due respect, no relevance to the Aquino administration. It was a case that was pending even prior to the Aquino administration, even prior to the Arroyo administration. So it’s a decision of the Supreme Court based on the assessment of the facts and the evidence presented and why it took that long is for them to answer that,” he added.

Bishop believes Hubert Webb is innocent By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) Updated December 14, 2010 01:35 PM Comments (20)

MANILA, Philippines — A Catholic bishop believes that the principal accused in the Vizconde massacre case--son of former Senator Freddie Webb, Hubert Webb--is innocent of the crime.

In an interview with Church-run Radyo Veritas, Bishop Teodoro Bacani said he believes in the defense of alibi presented to the court by younger Webb's lawyers during the trial of the case.

"Si Hubert Webb talagang sa paniniwala ko ay walang sala at kaya naman ako naniniwala diyan ay mayroon akong kaibigan na nasa States na nandun sa kanila si Hubert Webb noong diumano ay pinatay ang itong anak ni Lauro Vizconde," Bacani said.

Hubert was one of the several scions of affluent families implicated in the killing of Estelita, Jennifer and Carmela Vizconde inside their house in Paranaque City on June 30, 1991.

Carmela was also reportedly gang raped by her assailants according to medico-legal examinations conducted by authorities on the cadaver.

Bacani also argued his lady friend also saw Hubert in the US during the time the murders were committed.

"She was not planted to tell that to me because at that time the court was already, the proceedings were ongoing pero nababahala nga siya na mahatulan as it happened," the bishop added.

Bacani said that the junking of the criminal case by the Supreme Court against Webb and the other accused does not mean that justice has not been served to the family of the victims.

“Hindi ito nangangahulagan na hindi siya pinagkalooban ng katarungan kundi ang gusto sabihin nito ay hanapin ang tunay na nagkasala at huwag niyang isipin na dahil dito ay nawala na ang katarungan," he said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved