The Supreme Court has acquitted the convicted murderers in the controversial decades-old Vizconde massacre case, reversing an earlier local court decision sentencing those accused of life imprisonment.
“The court has acquitted Hubert Webb, Antonio Lejano, Michael Gatchalian, Pyke Fernandez, Miguel Rodriguez, Peter Estrada and Gerardo Biong,” Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez told a press conference.
Seven magistrates voted for the acquittal, four voted against, four others abstained.
“The prosecution was not able to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” said Marquez.
Marquez added the Supreme Court also noted that the quality of testimonies of the witnesses, including those of Jessica Alfaro “could not be relied on.”
“It was more on the quality of witnesses presented by the prosecution. The quality of testimony and marked inconsistencies of the witnesses could not be relied on,” Marquez added.
Fritz Webb, brother of Hubert, earlier said the acquittal is the best Christmas gift for their family.
In a separate report, Lauro Vizconde had said he will respect the decision of the Supreme Court but he will ”criticize it” if Webb is freed. Volunteers against Crime and Corruption, a group backing Vizconde, said they are hoping the justices will be able to sleep at night.
On June 30, 1991 Estrellita, Carmela and Jennifer Vizconde were brutally killed inside the Paranaque abode.
Webb’s alibi was he was not in the country at the time and was actually in the United States.
Webb’s family earlier launched an online campaign seeking for Hubert’s freedom and provided the public their evidence that Hubert was not at the crime scene.