Hubert Webb, together with the 6 others who were convicted of multiple murder in 1995, is now acquitted – with a 7-4 vote - after being in prison for 15 long years.
The 1991 Vizconde Massacre case was much sensationalized during its time it was even made into a movie starring Kris Aquino as Carmela Vizconde. The trial was even more popular with the son of Freddie Webb (former senator, basketball star, and actor) as the prime suspect. Another convicted who added to the celebrity flair of the trail was Antonio “Tony Boy” Lejano who is the son of Pinky de Leon and nephew of the multi-awarded actor Christopher de Leon.
The Supreme Court exonerated Hubert and the other six, citing the failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt and the unreliability of the testimony of the prosecution’s star witness.
Jessica Alfaro was then the star witness. She claimed that she saw Hubert in the act of raping Carmela, but her testimonies had much inconsistencies which the court ignored. She even failed to identify Miguel Rodriguez in open court. Alfaro now lives in Canada.
The other six who were acquitted are Antonio Lejano, Michael Gatchalian, Hospicio Fernandez, Peter Estrada, Miguel Rodriguez, and former police officer Gerardo Biong who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for being an accessory to the crime. Biong was already released prior to acquittal for having served his sentence in full.
Court administrator Jose Midas Marquez said the release of Webb and five others was immediately executory because no more motion for reconsideration can be filed because that would be tantamount to double jeopardy. He also added that the Webbs may claim damages against the State by filing petitions in court.
Can you imagine how much Hubert Webb lost for serving prison 15 years and then be acquitted at 41 years old?
Anyway, I’m sure that if there was a Kris Aquino-starrer “Vizconde Massacre” during the 90s, there would be a Hubert Webb story sooner or later. And since true-to-life movies are not hip at the moment, shows like Maala-ala Mo Kaya would surely take advantage of all the media hype.