Friday, April 30, 2010

DNA test on Webb's semen will set him free

If indeed it is proven that Hubert Webb, the convicted son of the former Philippine Senator Freddie Webb, along with his co-accused, is innocent of the criminal charges levelled against him in the killing of Estrellita Vizconde, 47; her daughters--Carmela, 18, who was raped, and Jennifer, 7--in their home at BF Homes, Paranaque on June 30, 1991, the Philippine government would have to be answerable for whatever exemplary damages that the accused would seek for destroying their future and the shame that befell themselves and their respective families.

It is public knowledge that there are hundreds, if not thousands of Webbs, who are languishing in different jails in the Philippines for crimes that they may have not committed. Their only mistakes were that they were at the wrong place, at the wrong time. And the Philippine government has been spending hefty sums of money to feed and keep them in jail for a long time, while the real culprits are running scot-free and may have committed the same crimes that they've been used to at the expense of innocent victims' lives and futures.

What a waste of time, efforts and money for the government just because the very law enforcement agencies tasked to execute their duties did not do them properly according to established and accepted procedures needed to implement an arrest for certain suspects. Somehow, they were arrested simply because somebody was coerced or forced to act as a witness in order to make it much easier for law enforcers to execute the arrest order and solve the crime.

Investigative journalists have made breakthroughs in unearthing the unexplained wealth of the presidents and other ranking government officials, including the justices of the Supreme Court. But nothing yet was written about how law enforcement agencies were remiss in their duties to effect proper arrests of criminal suspects, will the government be made liable to pay for the damages incurred in the wrongful arrest of that particular person, whose life was badly destroyed over many years of incarceration?

This is something, too, that any government worldwide should look into. Because you cannot just gamble on a person's future, especially if that person was arrested because he was set up or framed to make it appear that he committed the crime, when in fact, the court proved he didn't do it. Now, the question that lingers in the minds of Hubert Webb's parents and siblings: "Should Hubert be proven innocent, after the DNA tests had been conducted and compared and it showed that his sperm didn't match those that were taken from Carmela's, what will the government now do to recompensate for the number of years that the accused stayed in jail for the crime he didn't commit?"

It won't be much a problem for the scions of rich families. But what about the poor prisoners, who couldn't afford to hire good lawyers to defend them in courts? The reason why there were inside the jails is because they were framed up as fall guys so that the real suspects or masterminds would remain free. Whether we like it or not, this is the discrepancy that the Philippine justice system has at this time. When the new president is sworn in to lead the country, most of the constituents would expect him to introduce and put into effect some changes in public governance by getting rid of graft and corruption so that more investments will start pouring in again and again.

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