Thelma confident Duterte will never pardon Chiong 7
The family of Jacqueline and Marijoy Chiong is hopeful that President Rodrigo Duterte will not pardon the seven men convicted for the kidnapping, rape and slay of the two sisters 21 years ago.
Thelma Chiong, mother of the Chiong sisters, said she believes in the lawfulness and judgment of President Duterte and that he will uphold the final verdict of life sentence to the seven.
“Duterte is a man of justice. During the time sa case, fiscal pa sya ato. Di gyod na moingon si Duterte nga iyang i-pardon si Paco.
He knows the case,” Chiong said.
Chiong added that the case of her daughters is a benchmark case of served justice that will never die.
Crime of the decade
The Chiong case was known as the crime of the decade when it happened in 1997.
“Sakit pero nalipay mi nga at least, bisan sa kadagko sa akong mga nakontra sa kaso sa akong mga anak, justice has been served,” said Chiong.
The seven accused collectively known as Chiong 7 were Francisco Juan “Paco” Larrañaga, a scion of the Osmeña clan; Jozman Aznar, Rowen Adlawan, Alberto Allan Cano, Ariel Balansag, and brothers James Andrew and James Anthony Uy.
Last August, a prayer walk was held by the family and friends of the Chiong 7 in Cebu City.
There, Margarita Osmeña Larrañaga, mother of Paco, confirmed that they are making moves to lobby for President Duterte to grant executive clemency for the Chiong 7.
The Chiong 7 was sentenced by the Supreme Court with the death penalty in 2004. But capital punishment was abolished by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2006.
Their punishment was downgraded to double life sentence or 40-80 years in prison.
“Bisan unsaon ni Paco, kung moingon siya nga wasted years, siya ang nag-waste sa iyang kinabuhi. Ako nangita ra man kog hustisya,” Chiong said.
Still in pain
Even after 21 years, Chiong said that their family is still in pain over losing her daughters.
“Jacky and Joy will always be in our hearts,” Chiong told Cebu Daily News as their family visited the tomb of Marijoy at the Columbary of the Alliance of Two Hearts Parish in Banawa, Guadalupe in Cebu City on November 1.
The family lighted candles, brought flowers and offered prayers for the sisters even if only Marijoy’s remains are in the chamber.
Jacqueline was never found since they disappeared in July 1997.
“Ako nag-hope gyod ko nga someday makita ra sya. But wala na mi nangita niya. Sa tanan nakong prayers answered gyod, kani lang gyod akong pag-ampo nga iuli si Jacky ang wala,” Chiong said.
“During this time of the year, ma-reminded gyod ka nga namatay na sila, di na gyod sila mobangon, di na gyod sila mopauli,” she added.
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