The first time it broke the news, I am really tempted to blog about the decision of Supreme Court regarding the Acquittal of Hubert Webb et.al. on the Visconde Massacre case, but because of heavy workload I wasn’t able to continue writing on the matter. Not until I’ve watched Boy Abunda’s Bottomline episode with Hubert. After watching the show (or even during watching the show) and hearing what Hubert was saying I was pushed to accede to my earlier temptation.
Boy’s interview on my end didn’t put to rest my conviction about Webb and his co-accused. It didn’t change the way I think that indeed they have something to do with it. On the interview Boy asked Hubert if at any point he got angry with God because he was jailed for the crime that according to him “he has not committed”. Hubert answered, not anytime during his stint on the jail that he got angry with God. I felt wow I am more bad that him, because there are moments in my life when I’m experiencing big problems that I can’t help but somewhat got angry with God. But he who was jailed for 15 years and claiming innocence, at any point didn’t even got a little angst and angry with God, he must be very very nice. OK let’s give-in to the notion that every person is unique and has his/her own way of sailing through rough times and I am not putting nor suggesting here what actions should have he done during those times but the fact the he’s saying “not at any point” did he got angry, I thought it was preposterous, it was outrageous, it was ahhhh am lost for the right adjective. It was kind of a rhetoric script convincing everyone that indeed he cannot do what he was accused of. This leads me to concur to some opinions that indeed the SC are in no position to decide on criminal cases but rather just to hear cases which tackles legality of laws and or constitutionality of something. This is because they’re just basing their opinion on mere documents and not personal testimonies. They didn’t have the chance of seeing facial reactions or nuances of the accused and the witnesses which is also vital aspect of deciding a case.
Another point I’d like to open is the basis of their decision questioning the credibility and statements of the lead witness Jessica Alfaro. They argued that Jessica is an incredible witness because of her alleged link with the NBI, but my question is, are there no other witnesses that testified on the appearance of Webb in their home in Paranaque. Will the perceived ‘incredibility’ of Jessica’s testimonies downplayed or disregarded the statements of other witnesses like their maid and the security guard of their subdivision. Yes it may be true that Jessica is the lead witness of the case, but there are also other witnesses that can stand even without Jessica’s testimony. They also noted that other witnesses statements are just in-connections with what Jessica’s statement was, so in arguing that her statements are ‘incredible’ the supporting/corroborative statements can also be said as ‘incredible’. But do this SC judges hear the personal accounts of this maid and security guard on how they testified and cross-examined? I don’t think it is accurate to disregard their testimonies just because they cannot believe the testimonies of the star witness. I believe the statement of the maid Mila, can stand on her own even though Jessica didn’t show up as star witness. Even if Jessica said the different way and the maid said she washed the Hubert’s bloody shirt, I think it should not be disregarded because it’s her personal account and personal testimony. I cannot accept the notion that just because Jessica’s statement can’t stand strong, the other testimonies will follow, the SC should have taken into account and distinguish the other testimonies of the other witnesses.
This is why I cant help but agree to the suggestion of former CJ Puno, to have constitutional amendments specifically on the judiciary because it seemed that so much power has been vested on the Supreme Court. There should be really major check on the power of the SC, since they are the so-called final arbiter. And with the perceived corruption on the highest court, this so much power is in great danger of being abused.
“With great power comes great responsibility, but with great power of irresponsible authority, abuse is in great clarity”