September 08, 2009

Revisiting the Chiong rape slay case

BACK in July 2005, I was assigned by ABS-CBN Publishing's Metro magazine to do a story on Chiong sisters rape slay case in Cebu, because one of those convicted of the case is a scion of the late President Osmeña. To this day, it still is the most exhausting/exhaustive story I've ever worked on, primarily due to the number of people I interviewed, w/c included the respective mothers of Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong, and Paco Llarrañaga; their respective friends; a case investigator; and lawyers. Due to then Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez' pussyfooting (aha! I'm finally able to use the word!), I was unable to interview Llarañaga himself, who is now back in the news because his transfer to a Spanish prison was recently approved by the Department of Justice.

I am publishing here the piece I did for Metro to give the public a glimpse into the complexities of the case, and cannot help but be moved again by the intense suffered by both families. As I was unable to interview Llarrañaga himself, I cannot ascertain whether he committed the crime, or not. Based on the legal documents and interviews I conducted with people connected to both families and to this case, however, and with the limited time available to me to put together that story back in 2005, I can only say that there seems to have been lapses in the investigation process itself, while the evidence presented by both prosecution and defense are riddled with loopholes.

Chiong/Larrañaga case (Metro) Aug. 2005

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