Important facts in the Villarosa case
This refers to the statement of former solicitor general and former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura Sr. that there was nothing wrong with his acting as a sponsor at the wedding of Jose T. Villarosa’s daughter (Inquirer, 11/4/12). I would like to point out the following facts and set the record straight:
The double-murder case of Paul and Michael Quintos was heard and tried for eight years and six months at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, where it ended with the conviction of then-Rep. Jose T. Villarosa and his coaccused.
Villarosa and his coaccused, including the gunman, were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the RTC as a result of the confession of the gunman who pointed to Villarosa as the mastermind. Because the death sentence had by then been abolished, the two were sentenced to double life imprisonment.
The murder case was elevated to the Court of Appeals, specifically to the division of Justice Noel Tijam. It took then-Solicitor General Nachura only a few weeks to recommend the acquittal of the mastermind, but he sustained the conviction of the gunman and two other coaccused. This in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court had granted the request (filed Nov. 16, 2006) of the solicitor general for a 120-day extension to review the voluminous trial records of eight years and six months. Apparently Solicitor General Nachura did not avail himself of the extension because a few weeks after, on Dec. 4, 2006, he came out with a recommendation for Villarosa’s acquittal.
In the language of the Supreme Court, the solicitor general’s decision was made “in indecent haste.”
As a result thereof, the succeeding solicitor general, Joel Cadiz, argued that the Tijam division’s acquittal of Villarosa was void and not valid as it violated a provision in the 1987 Constitution (found also in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions), which states that only the Supreme Court can decide on criminal cases involving penalties of reclusion perpetua or death sentences.
Note that shortly after his recommendation for Villarosa’s acquittal, Nachura was appointed to the Supreme Court as associate justice by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
This case does not involve sums of money. It involves the sacred, innocent lives of two young boys.
—RICARDO “DING” QUINTOS,
father of Paul and
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