New Vizconde massacre witnesses surface
Posted at 12/28/2010 7:37 PM | Updated as of 12/28/2010 7:37 PM
MANILA, Philippines – New witnesses have come forward accusing Hubert Webb and others of allegedly being behind the Vizconde massacre, Public Attorney’s Office chief Percida Acosta said on Tuesday.
She has informed Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima through texts and phone calls that the new witnesses are requesting to be entered into the government’s Witness Protection Program.
National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police teams formed to look into the 3 sets of suspects in the killings will submit their first report early next month.
The sets of suspects are the Barroso “Akyat Bahay” Gang, a group of construction workers, and the Webb group.
When the reports are in, de Lima will convene another meeting with the inter-agency task force formed to reinvestigate the crime.
The NBI and PNP teams have been told to locate the other suspects and get their statements again.
The Supreme Court en banc last December 14 acquitted Webb and 6 others who were imprisoned for more than 15 years for the massacre.
De Lima, meanwhile, said she has not received any complaint yet on the issue of Acosta being a relative of the victims.
The DOJ chief said she will rule on the issue if a complaint is filed.
In a separate development, Melchor Gongora Chavez, who claims to be the national president of the Association of Commentators of the Philippines, went to the DOJ bringing with him a sworn statement claiming that Webb's passport was fake.
Chavez alleged that he knows of a certain "Edmond A" was allegedly asked to produce a fake passport for Webb.
The man was reportedly told that the passport would be presented in court in defense of Webb.
Chavez is not among the witnesses that Acosta intends to present to the DOJ.
When questioned by reporters, Chavez could not provide details like crucial dates of the conversations that he allegedly had with "Edmond A.”
Chavez also claimed that the video clip that showed Webb frolicking in snow in the United States is fake.
“Sa likuran lamang ng Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) ito ginanap sa pamamagitan ng paglalatag ng yelo at pagpapalipad ng puting bulaklak at saka ito kinuhanan ng video camera upang palabasin na nasa Amerika ito kinuhanan," he said in a statement said.
During the course of the Vizconde massacre trial, Webb's passport had been certified as valid and authentic by Department of Foreign Affairs.
No questions were raised on the authenticity of his passport.