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Based on the Give Up Tomorrow case, I have these opinions that I'd like to share:
(Note -- I always try to be objective about everything, I rarely let my emotions do the judging. I am not a lawyer or a judge, I am an ordinary person who knows how to read people.)
It doesn't matter whether the documentary was made by a family member of Paco, if there is an irregularity or an anomaly in the handling of the case, you cannot disregard those irregularities just because a member of the Paco camp revealed another side.
I don't see this as another attempt by an "elite family" to bully the system, the Chiongs were very well connected and you could say they are also "elite", the term "elite" is now a very worn out word that had become a word to describe a family with Spanish ancestry regardless if they are still wealthy or not. The new elites are the businessmen and most are Chinese-Filipino, a lot of the old mestizo families have slowly crumbled, with a lot holding on to a few properties they were left with.
The actions of Mrs Chiong were highly suspicious, there was a lot of grandstanding that you normally do not see in the families of other murder cases, and when the life sentences were dropped on the seven suspects, the Chiong camp were screaming and crying loudly while the families of the suspects were mourning silently and hugging their sons. --at first, it seemed like a natural reaction for the Chiong camp as they were rooting for the death penalty, what's 'off' with this scene, however, is that, it wasn't Mrs. Chiong who was in a tantrum, it was another lady with much longer hair and was wearing sunglasses, Mrs. Chiong was wearing her glasses and had a shorter haircut. Who was this lady? Why was she more affected than Mrs. Chiong?
Airlines always have had records of flights and names of their passengers on record, why wasn't their any of these presented as evidence? As the documentary mentioned, the Chiongs claimed that Paco was rich enough to hire a plane alone for an overnight flight, but still, there is such a thing as a manifest even on chartered flights. Even so, who in their right mind would go out of class in the afternoon, take a flight to cebu for 1 night just to rape and kill 2 girls then head back to manila in the early morning to take a test?
The fact that there wasn't anything that could tie the seven to the Chiongs until a David Rusia suddenly came out of nowhere was very suspicious, I thought a case against a single individual should be able to hold up in court alone with evidences and such without anyone else pointing fingers for it to be even accepted?
The last part of the documentary "Give Up Tomorrow" was really weird, Mrs. Chiong was seen laughing and taking the topic of her daughters' supposed killers lightly, also, her treatment of David Rusia was super out of character, it doesn't matter if David Rusia turned state witness for the arrest of the seven, he confessed to raping and killing her daughters himself, no mother would even dare look in that person's direction even if he was the reason for the prosecution of the seven, and there she was giving him birthday cakes and presents, she even said in the interview herself that she gave David Rusia 1000 or 2000 pesos sometimes if he visited her in cebu and then joked immediately about it that it wasn't a bribe, as "hindi namang bribe yung 1000 or 2000 pesos, anong klaseng bribe yun?". We also saw a Mrs. Chiong seemingly happy showing a picture of their appeal.
In contrast to Mrs. Chiong's actions and demeanor, the family of Paco as well as the families of the other seven(not in the film, but on other videos recorded available online) seemed to be the ones who had lost their sons to murder. Based on personal experience, whenever I talk about the death of a loved one, I always had a somber tone no matter how I felt while saying a story about it, my grandma from my mother's side passed away just 10 years ago, yet, after 10 years, I still feel sadness telling anything about her death.
The judge himself, I won't comment on the proceedings but rather the behaviour of the judge, first, had all the defense attorneys arrested then have them replaced by PAO under his own request and not the defendants', that was weird; and then after all of the court hearing, with everything seemingly pointing to the rape AND murder of the Chiong sisters, ruled a life sentence instead of a death penalty citing that it was because he found that the seven did indeed raped the Chiongs but "did not find enough evidence" that the seven murdered them(in spite of David Rusia testifying to murder). I saw this as a judge who was willing to have a young person sent to jail, but not willing enough to have blood on his hands because he knew he would be sending innocent people to their deaths. Then just after the high profile case, killed himself, his suicide note said that he 'did not want to die of old age'.
The biggest offence I could see is why was forensics not allowed to examine the body? If the body did not belong to the Chiong sisters then there's another family out there with a missing daughter and another heinous crime that has gone unpunished. They're the real victims.
Whether you believe the Larranagas or the Chiongs, it showed how dirty the Philippine justice system is and how you couldn't even trust the very system that was made to protect you. At least, right now, I can see that people nowadays are a lot more "woke" in young people talk, people now have access to information they used to only receive from the media, people now engage more online about these issues, and people actually have the power to change the outcome of said events.
PLEASE WATCH "GIVE UP TOMORROW": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UHQqM8f50Y
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