De Lima poses a challenge to Webb et al to agree for lie detector test

January 15, 2011 2:34 am 

MANILA, Jan. 14 — Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Friday the inter-agency task force, tasked to conduct a fresh investigation into the 1991 Vizconde massacre case, posed a challenge to Hubert Webb and company to submit to polygraph test to prove that they are telling the truth.

De Lima convened the inter-agency task force composed of Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) convened on Friday afternoon at the NBI main office to proceed with the reinvestigation of the Vizconde massacre.

The task force has until June 29 this year to wrap-up the probe because the 20- year prescription will lapse on that period.

“One interesting point that the task force discussed is the desirability of posing a challenge to Webb and company to agree to submit to a polygraph test. If they are telling the truth, why not take a polygraph test at this point,” de Lima told reporters after attending a close-door meeting with the members of the inter-agency task force.

While de Lima said that the rule of double jeopardy prohibits toindict Webb and company again for the same case, de Lima said there is need to put closure on the case.

“Even if the results of the reinvestigation would show or would confirm that they are the real culprits, hindi naman sila pwede makasuhan kasi dahil sa principle of double jeopardy,” she said.

De Lima said Webb and company may agree for lie detector test if they are in one with the task force in determining the truth. “This is to put a total closure to this case by determining the real culprits,” she said.

“We challenge them to cooperate,” she said. De Lima said she asked the teams working on the three sets of suspects to update her. But she refused to discuss further because there were a lot people that need to be accessed.

She also noted that the task force wants to know the identity of the person whom dismissed Paranaque policeman Gerardo Biong talked before he cleaned up the scene of the crime. Biong was convicted as accessory to the crime by the Paranaque regional trial court for destroying the evidence.

The task force interviewed retired police general Rogelio Pureza to get input regarding the case.

ut Pureza said that he cannot give much to the task force as he was on leave at the time the massacre occurred on June 30, 1991.

“He (Pureza) gave us some insights some info dun sa mga nakukuha niyang mga information from policemen, from his men, from former subordinates in the office of the chief of police of Paranaque,” de Lima said.

De Lima said Biong was the investigator who was sent to the scene of the crime right after the commission of the crime.

She said “So he was an investigator. We were trying to get information from him pero hindi naman niya nasagot yung, because up to now, because if we are to believe account of… is that the girlfriend or mistress of Biong, Lolita Ferrer. Yung time na yon na nilinlinis nya yung scene of the crime ay meron siyang kausap sa telepono “yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.”

De Lima said the identity of that person was never established. “But Biong denied that he was talking to somebody over the phone. But there was this account na may kausap siya sa phone. There were speculations before only about the identity of that sir. Para sa amin material iyon para sa amin, crucial yon.”

She further said it was material to the task force to know who was person who instructed Biong to do the sanitizing or the clean up of the scene of the crime.

“He must have been getting instructions from somebody else. Because that sir, a superior, or any powerful figure. But that was never established. So we were hoping that Gen. Pureza has some insights about that but apparently. He (Pureza) is also clueless as to who that sir was,” de Lima said. (PNA) LOR/CS

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