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Nation

Tommy O accepts nephew’s death sentence

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CEBU CITY — "Whatever statement I make, it will not make a difference to what will happen. Nothing that I say or do can change anything."

Thus said Mayor Tomas Osmeña in reaction to the fate of his nephew, Francisco Juan "Paco" Larranaga, one of the seven scions of prominent families here who were convicted for the 1997 abduction, rape and killing of sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong.

The Supreme Court elevated the double life sentences of six of the convicts to the death penalty.

Osmeña said he was saddened by the Supreme Court decision but that as a duly elected government official, he had no choice but to uphold the law and let it run its due course.

"I think the death penalty should be imposed. But please it is not because of Paco Larranaga because I do not want to see my nephew executed," he told reporters during his regular press briefing.

Larranaga’s mother, Margarita, is a first cousin of the mayor. Margarita’s mother is Milagros Gonzales, a sister of Sergio "Serging" Osmeña Jr., the mayor’s father.

The mayor appeared uneasy having to answer questions on his nephew’s fate. He eventually described the questions as "cruel."

Osmeña said he cannot help but personally wish that nothing will happen to Larranaga. But he himself admitted that Larranaga’s fate was beyond his hands.

Learning about the mayor’s sentiments, the victims’ mother, Thelma Chiong, said she appreciates his stand of not "compromising" his integrity despite the fact that one of those involved is his relative.

The five other death convicts are Jozman Aznar, Alberto Cano, Ariel Balansag, Rowen Adlawan and James Anthony Uy.

A seventh convict, James Andrew Uy, was 16 years old at the time the crimes were committed and was sentenced to life imprisonment. — Freeman News Service

ALBERTO CANO

ARIEL BALANSAG

FRANCISCO JUAN

FREEMAN NEWS SERVICE

JAMES ANDREW UY

JOZMAN AZNAR

LARRANAGA

MARIJOY AND JACQUELINE CHIONG

OSME

SUPREME COURT

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