Spain's embassy in Manila has forwarded to the Supreme Court three letters from different bar associations "to assert the rights of their citizen to a fair trial and due process of law."
Larraņaga, one of the seven convicts in the rape-murder of the Chiong sisters in Cebu, is a Spanish citizen, according to the letters.
In a six-page plea, Larraņaga defense counsels Felicitas Aquino-Arroyo and Sandra Coronel asked the court to consider the amicus curie briefs filed by the Barcelona Bar Association the Basque Bar Council and the Bar Association of Madrid.
Spanish Consul Emilio de Leon earlier informed Larraņaga that he had attempted to submit the documents to the Supreme Court via diplomatic channels, but failed.
Thelma Chiong, the mother of the Chiong sisters, will be flying to Manila today to check with the High Tribunal the developments on the case and to get a copy of the request of the three bar associations in Spain.
In February 2004, the Supreme Court decided to impose the death penalty on six of the seven men convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, with homicide and rape, of Marijoy Chiong.
Marijoy and her elder sister Jacqueline were together when they were grabbed from an uptown mall last July 16, 1997.
Jacqueline has not been found, but two days after the sisters were reported missing, the body of a young woman was found in a ravine in Carcar, Cebu, which the Chiong family said was that of Marijoy.
"But whatever country-- Spain, Belgium, Germany-- I am not afraid because the law is on our side," said Chiong, also national vice-president of the Crusade Against Violence.
In an en banc decision, the Supreme Court had raised the penalty imposed by the late RTC Judge Martin Ocampo, from double terms of 20 to 40 years in prison on the seven men to death penalty on six of them and 32 to 57 years on the seventh accused.
"With the greatest respect for the law and judicial system of the Philippines, the Barcelona Bar Association wishes to state its deep concern at the sentencing to death of a Spanish citizen in the said country, not only on account of the profound conviction that the death penalty i not a civilized response to crime, but also because in view of the documentation provided, irreparable harm could be caused,' a portion of the amici's briefs said.
The lawyers said that if evidence were to be reviewed, " a breach of procedural safeguards could be found, which would invalidate the proceedings."
"The execution of a Spanish citizen would be in breach of the principle of reciprocity applicable in the field of international criminal law. If a Spanish court had found the accused guilty, in no event, have imposed the death penalty, neither on a Spanish nor a Philippine citizen, nor could he have been extradited without the firm undertaking of the requesting state not to impose or carry out the death penalty," they added.
The European Union, Spain included, has ratified the international instruments against the death penalty.
In Cebu, business leader Miguel Juan del Gallego is on a mission to free Larraņaga from death.
Larraņaga, Josman Aznar, Rowen Adlawan, Alberto Caņo, Ariel Balansag and James Andrew Uy are now in death row.
The seventh accused, James Andrew Uy, who was only 16 during the kidnapping and rape of the Chiong sisters will be spared.
The court treated as separate cases the kidnapping and serious illegal detention with homicide and rape of Marijoy and the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of Jacqueline. (Sunnex)/GN
THE ABOVE TEXT IS THE FAITHFUL REPRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL
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