An online petition addressed to President Duterte and the Supreme Court has been going around social media for the encouragement of reopening the murder case of the Chiong sisters. Posted by a netizen with the username ‘Case Review’, the petition’s description read: “There are 3 sides to every story and in this case: The Chiong sisters, The Chiong Seven and the TRUTH. Let the witnesses be heard! Review/Reopen the case!”
Upon posting the petition on Change.org, it originally called for 25,000 signatures but as soon as it reached 57,000, the netizen decided for a total number of 75,000 people to sign.
The Chiong murder case, which happened in 1997, went viral on social media after Viva Films aired the trailer of the movie ‘Jacqueline Comes Home’ which is loosely based on the incident.
Upon its release, netizens were enraged with the film and called for it to be boycotted, eventually urging the public to watch the 2011 documentary entitled ‘Give Up Tomorrow’ which tells the story of Paco Larrañaga, one of the seven wrongly accused men of allegedly kidnapping, raping and murdering the Chiong sisters.
Larrañaga’s camp stated that on the day the sisters were killed, he was in Quezon City. He had more than 40 people to testify as witnesses, but the judge dismissed them for being ‘his friends’. He was also denied from testifying in court, which is an immediate and flagrant violation of his rights.
After the Chiong Seven were declared guilty of doing the drastic deed, they were sentenced to 80 years in prison, but in the year 2004, they were inflicted with the death penalty, which was later overturned by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Larrañaga, who is currently living in Spain after being relocated, works as a part-time chef during the day, and returns to his jail cell at night.