Netizens sign online petition urging Duterte, SC to review Chiong sisters case

MANILA, Philippines – An online petition has been made to seek the assistance of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Supreme Court to reopen or review the controversial case of the “Chiong sisters.”
Netizens sign online petition urging Duterte, SC to review Chiong sisters case

The username Case Review started a petition on to ask for online signatures from the public to support their appeal to reopen the case of the 21-year old Jacqueline and 23-year old Marijoy Chiong who were allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered back in July 1997.

The case resulted to the conviction of Francisco Juan “Paco” Larrañaga, Jozman Aznar, Rowen Wesley Adlawan, Alberto Allan "Pahak" Cano, Ariel Balansag, James Andrew "MM" Uy and James Anthony Uy, dubbed as the “Chiong 7.”

The Chiong Seven
The Chiong Seven  | Photo grabbed from Youtube video/Give Up Tomorrow

Due to the release of a Viva film's “Jacqueline Comes Home,” and the resurfacing of a documentary “Give Up Tomorrow” produced in 2011, the case has stirred the public again.

SEE ALSO: Donnalyn Bartolome seeks help from Viva against bashers of ‘Jacqueline Comes Home’

Netizens claimed that the case was a “mistrial” and that witnesses should be heard for the truth to come out.

The online petition points out that there are 3 sides to the story: “The Chiong Sisters, The Chiong Seven and the TRUTH.” It hopes that the case be reviewed and witnesses be heard.

The petition already achieved 80,453 from the 150,000 target signatures.

Jacqueline Comes Home

The film Jacqueline Comes Home presents the Chiong’s side of the story. On the night of July 16, 1997, Jacqueline and Marijoy Chiong were last seen at the Ayala Center Cebu. The Chiong’s presented Davidson Valiente Rusia who claimed that he was part of Paco Larrañaga’s gang. He alleged that he met the rest of the group to attend a party. Riding a white car, Rusia testified that they forced the Chiong sisters inside their car while they were waiting in a waiting shed.

The controversial Chiong sisters.
The controversial Chiong sisters.

Rusia continued that Larañaga’s gang proceeded to a safehouse where they allegedly got drunk, had a pot session and took turn raping the victims. They allegedly pushed Marijoy into the 150-meter deep ravine.

Two days later, the body was found identified to be Marijoy while Jacqueline is still nowhere to be found.

You can watch the trailer of the movie here:

The trial of the century or the mistrial of the century?

The award-winning documentary Give Up Tomorrow was produced by Marty Syjuco back in 2011. The docu lasted for 1 hour and a half shares how the case was smeared with irregularities, corrupt and incompetent government officials, controversies and even politics.

Francisco “Paco” Larrañaga
Francisco “Paco” Larrañaga, the alleged mastermind continues to claim his innocence | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Paco Larrañaga

The docu showed how Larrañaga, allegedly the mastermind of the crime was convicted based on one “star witness,” Rusia, whose credibility was also questioned. The defense’s biggest job was to prove that Larrañaga was nowhere in Cebu but was in Quezon City on the night the Chiong sisters went missing.

Larrañaga’s class attendance, condominium logbook, and over forty writnesses showed that the Center for Culinary Arts student was in Quezon City from July 16 to July 17. The court didn’t give weight to any of them citing irregularities and claiming evidences might have only been manipulated. The witnesses were also dismissed because they were Larrañaga’s friends.

The “Chiong Seven” were convicted and Cebu Regional Trial Court Judge Martin Ocampo sentenced them two life terms. Months after, Ocampo was found dead in an apparent suicide. Up to this day, Larrañaga and the others are still detained and refuse to admit to the crime.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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