'Hubert Webb was in PH during Vizconde massacre'

By Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2011 10:53 AM | Updated as of Jun 28 2011 10:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Six new witnesses reveal Hubert Webb, son of former Senator Freddie Webb, was in the Philippines when the Vizconde massacre took place on June 1991.

Sources from the Department of Justice said Webb, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court last December, 2010, was in the country during and after the crime happened in Parañaque City 20 years ago. The information is based on the accounts of 6 new witnesses gathered by Task Force Vizconde.

Forensic examination of Bureau of Immigration records also showed that Webb did not leave the country on March 1991, which runs counter to Webb's claim that he was in the United States from March 1991 to October 1992.

The task force said the new witnesses voluntarily executed their statements “and that they were never threatened, forced or coerced or promised any consideration.”
The witnesses include a village security guard, an electrician, a shabu dealer, a haircutter, and 2 people who played basketball with Hubert just before the crime occurred.

The first witness, an electrician, claimed to have seen the laundry woman washing a blooded t-shirt allegedly of Hubert Webb while he was fixing the electrical system of their house.
The second witness was described as a shabu dealer who claimed that Hubert Webb bought shabu from him twice sometime in May 1991.
The third and fourth witness, meanwhile, claimed to have played basketball with Hubert Webb on the summer of April or May 1991 and 1993 in an Inter-Color Summer Basketball League at BF Homes, Paranaque.
The fifth witness, a haircutter, claimed to know Hubert, Tony Boy Lejano and Dong Ventura. The haircutter said that a week after the Vizconde massacre, Hubert Webb went to the parlor to have his hair cut. He also heard Hubert scolding a young customer while he was having a hair cut.
The sixth witness, a village security guard, said he kept the records of the village during the time of the massacre including those of the Webb family.

'No BI record of Webb's departure'

Apart from the testimonies, the task force also conducted a technical investigation of the magnetic reel tapes of the Bureau of Immigration and found that there is no record of Webb leaving the country on March 1991.

The National Bureau of Investigation, through IBM Philippines and with the help from experts from the National Computer Center, conducted a forensic examination on the 9 track magnetic reel tapes of the Bureau of Immigration.
The magnetic reel tapes were used by the Bureau of Immigration from 1990 to 1992 to store data of departing and arriving passengers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It was also used by BI for monitoring and intelligence purposes.
The ones examined were magnetic reel tapes that contain all travel data of persons who departed and arrived in the country specifically in March 1991.
The NBI said that they were able to retrieve the list of persons with the surname WEBB who departed from the country in March 1991. The experts declared that Hubert Jeffrey P. Webb was not on the list.
The task force also noted the discrepancy in the signatures of Hubert Webb between his passport photo and the passport signature page.
According to the task force, the statements of the witnesses as well as the findings from the magnetic reel debunk the alibi of Webb.

Webb was one of several accused in the murders of Estrellita, Carmela, and Jennifer Vizconde on June 30, 1991. He and 5 others were convicted of the murders.

Last year, the Supreme Court acquitted Webb and his 5 co-accused after noting that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

The state could not anymore file a case against the same set of suspects because of the principle of double jeopardy.