“But they have not told us anything. They won’t even reveal which penal facility Larrañaga will be placed,” she said.
Her concern was that, since Larrañaga was convicted of a crime that is territorial in nature, technically, he has not committed any crime in Spain. “So, why should he remain in prison once he’s there?” she said.
“What I’m asking now is for them to undergo the process, because what we need here is a process. They cannot invoke the treaty unless they comply with the conditions,” Mrs. Chiong said.
Mrs. Chiong said that they will protest the transfer on three grounds. First is the issue regarding Larrañaga’s citizenship, which she said was never raised during the trial.
“He was born a Filipino, and he never lived in Spain for more than one year. How can he be Spanish?” she said.
The Chiongs are also asking for the P750,000 payment for civil indemnity, which, at the time of the interview, Mrs. Chiong asserted, she has not received, and has not been informed about. She just heard in the news the claim that Justice Secretary Agnes Devenadera was making in news reports that it has been paid.
It was later found out that the payment of P750,000 was made by the Larrañaga family to the head of the Clerk of Court in the Visayas Jeoffrey Joaquino last May, but for unknown reasons was not declared by Joaquino. He, however, reasoned that it is not his job to tell the aggrieved party that the payment for civil indemnity was already in his possession. Mrs. Chiong has filed a motion before Judge Simeon Dumdum Jr. of Regional Trial Court Branch 7 for the release of the said money.
Lastly, Mrs. Chiong is also questioning the number of years that Larrañaga served in prison, saying that if they would invoke good moral conduct while in prison, quoting Devanadera, he should serve 14 years, nine months and 38 days. They asserted that Larrañaga has only served 12 years of his sentence, which is not even half of the minimum time — 25 years — that he had to spend in jail.
Together with Larrañaga, the other convicts for the abduction, rape and brutal murder of the Chiong sisters are Josman Aznar, of the influential Aznar clan who owns Southwestern University, Sacred Heart Hospital, and several other properties and companies in Cebu; Rowen Adlawan; van driver Alberto Caño; van conductor Ariel Balansag; and brothers James Andrew and James Anthony Uy.
Except for James Anthony, the Supreme Court imposed the death penalty on the rest of the convicts. However, in 2006, the sentence was reduced to two life terms after the death penalty was abolished by Arroyo.
Suspect-turned-state witness Davidson Valiente Rusia, in his Aug. 12, 1998, testimony, recalled the events that took place starting from the day of the abduction on July 16, 1997.
According to Rusia, rain was pouring on that unfortunate evening, and while the sisters — Jacqueline, who was 22 at the time, and Marijoy, 20 — were waiting for a ride at Ayala Center Cebu, they were approached by Larrañaga and Aznar. Larrañaga is a known admirer of Marijoy.