'Ms. X' key to real perpetrators of Vizconde murders?

- Edu Punay -

MANILA, Philippines - A woman now in Australia could be the key to getting the real killers of the family of Lauro Vizconde, a veteran private investigator from Australia said.

Christian F.W. Faust, a criminologist with over 30 years of experience in investigating crimes in many countries, has looked into the celebrated Vizconde massacre in 1991 and found that the woman she dubbed as “Ms. X” is privy to the identities of the perpetrators.

In his report obtained by The STAR, he said the woman disclosed to Australian authorities when she sought refugee status visa in 1997 that her estranged husband and his gang were involved in the killings of Vizconde’s wife and two children. “She has identified a clean and unrelated source of information which if pursued and investigated correctly will lead to evidence and or the identity of the true offender(s) involved in the Vizconde murders. Or at the very least will provide additional previously unknown witnesses who in turn could provide other crucial leads to the killer(s) of the Vizconde women,” Faust explained.

He withheld the identity of the woman pending verification and further investigation, but revealed that she had “inside knowledge” of the massacre.

Ms. X told Australian authorities in her application for protection visa that her ex-husband was hooked with drugs, prompting her to run away with their children. It was because of her information that he was charged with drug offenses.”He (ex-husband) was tried and convicted of drug dealing, but was able to be freed on bail without having to serve the imposed jail term. The applicant claimed that his release on bail, along with that of his friends, was due to his political connections,” read the decision of the Australian refugee review tribunal on Ms. X’s application.

Ms. X, who moved to Australia in 1997 without her children, said her estranged husband had friends who were “sons of politicians” and have powerful connections and were “involved in the Vizconde massacre.” She, however, did not elaborate then since it was not relevant to her application for protection visa, which focused on the grounds of domestic violence and association with criminals.

Faust believes that this new lead was never considered by Philippine authorities in earlier investigations conducted on the Vizconde massacre and is now a “hot topic” in the Australian refugee tribunal following the acquittal by the Supreme Court of Hubert Webb and others previously convicted for the crime in December last year.

“The summary of suspects could very easily be narrowed down by pursuing an investigation as to the full identity of the drug dealers crew which was identified by the Australian Refugee Applicant. This may either lead to new names or conclude a direct link associated to an already named suspect in the above list,” he said.

Faust said he was not commissioned by anyone and only initiated his own probe on the Vizconde massacre “in the interest of justice” and “because of the challenge posed by the Vizconde murders, which is the most complex of the many international cases I handled. It’s a case that depicts official blunders, cover-ups and gross judicial negligence. I am digging deeper into this and I am super confident it will reach the end result,” he stressed.










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