Tuesday, February 10, 2004 

                 
Speak Out
Justice for the innocent
 
by MARIANNE AND MONALISA DEL GALLEGO
                          
California, USA 

      WE are very shaken and distraught at how our judiciary system in the Philippines continues to spiral down into oblivion.

      How can a system that promises democracy and vows to uphold the rights of its citizens choose to not have a shred of morals and continue to persecute the innocent?

      We are referring to the Supreme Court's decision sentencing Francisco "Paco" Larraņaga to death by lethal injection for a crime he did not commit.

Unheard testimonies
      On the night the crime was committed, Paco along with friends and acquaintances were at a bar in Manila. We are among the number of people with Paco that night. 

      A number of decent and educated people put their reputations on the line to make the truth known. Sworn affidavits and testimonies were submitted in  Authorities

court. Yet our testimonies were not heard. Authorities and students from his school sent in their affidavits attesting to his whereabouts.

       Who is to say we are safe in a system that cannot tell right from wrong? How can we sleep at night knowing tomorrow a brother, a sister, a husband or wife can just as easily be charged and persecuted for crimes they did not commit.

      If it can happen to Paco, it can happen to anyone!

Empathy
      We now begin to wonder how many innocent people are in jail as we speak. And it makes me cringe at the thought of the number of unscrupulous parties at large.

      We truly empathize with the Chiong family for their loss. We are two out of six girls and we love our sisters dearly. We cannot bear to live with ourselves if anything were to happen to any of them.

      But putting an innocent man to his death will not bring Jacqueline and Marijoy back from the dead, it will in no way ease the pain of their loss.

      This deep hatred and sense for vengeance can do nothing but dig a deeper hole and create a bigger void that cannot be filled by any means.

(NOTE: The above is condensed from an article written by the sisters, Marianne and Monalisa del Gallego and transmitted by email to friends and sympathizers of Paco. To view the whole article just .

NOTE:   THE ABOVE TEXT IS THE FAITHFUL REPRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL
        DOCUMENT REFORMATTED FOR  CLEARER APPRECIATION.              

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