Sunday, August 28, 2005 

OPINION
         

     
Mike del Gallego of Talamban, Cebu City, is one a great number of Filipinos who still cannot find closure in the lurid Chiong rape-slay, despite the decision by the Supreme Court to write off as dead men six out of the seven sentenced in this regard several years ago by a regional trial court judge who later himself committed suicide.

      Soon after the high court last year modified the multiple life sentences earlier handed down by the late Judge Martin Ocampo on Francisco Larranaga, Rowen Adlawan, Josman Aznar, Alberto Cano, James Anthony Uy and Ariel Balansag to the death penalty, Del Gallego related that out of a sense of righteousness he felt obligated to take a leave of absence from his work and civic duties to devote his time, effort and money in order to embark on what he described was a “quest for truth and justice.”

     Just in case anyone may be interested, the fruits of his labors after sifting through the nitty-gritty of the records of the convoluted case for over a year, can be found on the Web site: www.framedinthephilippines.com.  

      Del Gallego said he got hooked on the case because three of his daughters, together with some friends from Cebu, were actually with Larranaga, a scion of the powerful Osmeña clan, that same night the Chiong girls went missing.

      This came as a total total shock to him since their eyewitness accounts as well as similar testimonies provided by some of Larranaga's classmates in the Center for Culinary Arts in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, to the effect that he was with them during the time of the commission of the crime were rejected as insubstantial by the court.

      While Adlawan, Balansag, Aznar, Cano and Uy may have accepted their fate, Larranaga still continues to cling to the slim hope he will ultimately be taken out of death row because prosecutors have failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he deserves to be there.

      As for Del Gallego? Well, he says he'll still be around for as long as he feels he is needed. Until the truth shall have come out to the satisfaction of all.

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

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