MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Wednesday said it supports the reopening of the Vizconde massacre case, saying it is the “duty of the state” to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime.
“It goes without saying that every case which remains unsolved should be pursued so that the perpetrators will be brought to justice,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
“That is the duty of the government to seek justice, close these cases and make sure that the accused are brought to justice,” Valte added.
Valte noted that there are still two suspects who are at large and were never arraigned in court and were not made party to the decision of the Supreme Court.
“If they still have standing arrest warrants, and they were apprehended, they will have to go through trial,” she said.
Valte said a reopening of the case cannot involve Hubert Webb and others who were acquitted by the SC, citing the legal prohibition against double jeopardy.
“Legally speaking, the re-opening of the case certainly cannot anymore involve Mr. Hubert Webb, Tony Boy Lejano and others who were subject of the decision yesterday because that would entail double jeopardy. They cannot be tried for the same crime twice.”
As to Mr. Lauro Vizconde’s allegations that members of the Supreme Court were bribed to render a decision favorable to Webb et al, the Palace encourages Mr. Vizconde to present evidence and pursue the case.
“He should. He should go to the authorities and if he has evidence, it would be pursued as in any case brought to the DOJ [Department of Justice] or the police,” Valte said.