MANILA, Philippines - Lawyers of Hubert Webb filed Thursday morning an urgent motion for his acquittal at the Supreme Court, a day after the Court released its October 19 resolution setting aside a resolution dated April 20, 2010 granting Webb's request to submit the specimen taken from Carmela Vizconde's cadaver to deoxyribonucleic acid(DNA) testing and analysis.
Webb is among six individuals sentenced to life imprisonment by a Paranaque City Regional Trial Court for the rape and murder of Carmela and the murder of her mother, Estrellita and sister, Anna Marie Jennifer on June 30, 1991 at their residence in BF Homes, Paranaque.
The lower court's ruling was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, thus, an appeal pending before the High Court by the accused.
In his 28-page urgent motion, Webb posited that his "constitutional right to due process was violated when the State, through negligence or willful suppression, failed to produce the semen specimen that could have proven Appellant Webb's innocence".
"This violation to his right to due process, which we are citing as ground for his acquittal, is on the basis of the admission of the State that the specimen are already lost," Webb's counsel, Eloysa Sicam said.
The motion noted an admission by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to the High Court on April 27, 2010 that the semen specimen/vaginal smears and all original documents including autopsy and laboratory reports, and photographs are no longer in the custody of the bureau as these were submitted as evidence to the trial court.
The RTC meantime informed the Court on May 21, 2010 that there was no showing of actual receipt of the mentioned evidence.
Webb's motion states that it was not through the accused-appellant's fault that these evidence were lost or "suppressed" by the State.
Webb's camp believes the semen specimen/vaginal smears are a vital piece of evidence "that could have proven, once and for all, that appellant Webb did not rape Carmela".
The motion therefore submits that the loss or "suppression" by the State of these specimen violates his constitutional right to due process, for which reason he is entitled to an acquittal.
Webb also asks the Court to immediately release him from the New Bilibid Prison where he is incarcerated for 15 years.