The 1990s in the Philippines is one of the most violent decades for gruesome crimes and killings. It featured various controversial and sensational cases that are still felt today.
Moreover, the provocative nature of such cases from the 90s is mixed with political ties and privileges. Making it seem like justice was not on the victim's side.
Examples of these sensational incidents are the Vizconde Massacre, the Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez Double Murder, and the Hultman-Chapman Double Murder that we will discuss later.
So, what do these three cases have in common? All have some sort of political-backing and privileges that ordinary crime doers do not possess.
In the Vizconde Massacre, Hubert Webb, son of former Senator Freddie Webb, was one of the prime suspects. He was imprisoned for 17 years but was acquitted by the Supreme Court and his alleged cohorts in 2010 due to insufficient evidence.
Since then, the case had been cold. Whether the former senator's son and his privileged friends got away with the killing and raping of three women or were all falsely imprisoned, it is safe to assume that they had the power and wealth to advocate for their narrative.
Meanwhile, the brutal slayings of Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez were done by a heartless group of men led by a demonic-like mayor Antonio Sanchez and his goons, who acted like mercenaries who only cared about serving at the mayor's pleasure.
Even though justice was served for the murders of Sarmenta and Gomez, the ruthless men behind their demise became a representation of how politicians in the Philippines could potentially endure such evil actions.
As for the Hultman-Chapman double murder, we will thoroughly discuss what happened and how the perpetrator's privilege reigned all over the proceedings of his crimes.
In the wee hours of July 13, 1991, three young people, two boys and one girl were on their way to bring the female friend home to her residence in Dasmariñas Village, Makati City.
Suddenly, the three encountered an angry middle-aged man that didn't seem to mind the business of others. He started snooping on the youngsters and began questioning them on why they were outside at that time of the day. This incident turned into a heated altercation.
Moments later, the middle-aged man shockingly pulled out his pistol and shot all three of them, which caused the lives of Roland John Chapman and Maureen Hultman. The other victim, Jussi Olavi Leino, was the sole survivor of this infamous case.
Authorities were able to find out the identity suspect after three witnesses came forward and described what they saw from that unfortunate day.
Five days later, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested Claudio Teehankee Jr., the son of late former Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, for shooting the three victims with his .38-caliber revolver.
Teehankee was identified by three witnesses, which included Jussi Leino, the sole survivor of the shooting. However, the Philippine National Police questioned the NBI and insisted that they arrested the wrong person, resulting in the suspect's early release.
Things became heated between the PNP and NBI due to this confusing matter. Although, further investigations proved that the perpetrator, in this case, was indeed Claudio Teehankee Jr.
Before the crime took place, on July 12, 1991, Jussi Olavi Leino invited Roland Chapman, Maureen Hultman, and other friends for a party at his house in Forbes Park, Makati City.
The party started at about 8:30 p.m. and ended at past midnight. They then proceeded to Roxy's, a pub where the three victims and their schoolmates usually hang out.
An hour later, the group transferred to Vintage, another pub in Makati, where they stayed until past 3:00 a.m. of July 13, 1991. Apparently, bar-hopping was already a thing way back in the 90s.
The three came back to Roxy's Pub to pick up a friend of Maureen, then went back to Leino's residence to eat.
Next, Maureen decided that she needs to go home. She asked Leino to accompany her to her residence at Campanilla Street, Dasmariñas Village, Makati City.
Meanwhile, Roland Chapman tagged along to accompany both Leino and Maureen.
Upon entering Dasmariñas Village, Maureen asked Leino to drop her off Mahogany Street, a block away from her home. She planned on walking the rest of the way to avoid her parents noticing her late-night adventure.
On the other hand, Leino insisted on walking Maureen to her house to assure that she gets home safely, while Chapman stayed in the car and listened to the radio.
Leino and Maureen started walking on the sidewalk along Mahogany Street. When they reached the corner of Caballero and Mahogany Streets, a light-colored Mitsubishi box-type Lancer car, driven by Claudio Teehankee, Jr., came up behind them and stopped in the middle of the road.
The middle-aged man came out from his car, approached Leino and Maureen, and asked: "Who are you? Show me your I.D."
Leino thought the accused only wanted to check their identities. He reached into his pocket, took out his wallet, and handed his Asian Development Bank (ADB) I.D. to Teehankee. The snooping man just grabbed Leino's wallet and kept it in his pocket.
Meanwhile, Chapman witnessed the altercation and quickly went over to find out what was happening. He stepped down on the sidewalk and asked Teehankee: "Why are you bothering us?"
This provoked Teehankee to push Chapman. Shockingly, the enraged middle-aged man pulled out his gun and shot him.
After the shooting, Chapman was able to utter the words "Why did you shoot me?" while being down on the sidewalk.
In response to his friend being shot, Leino knelt beside Chapman to aid him. However, Teehankee insisted that he stand up and leave Chapman in his dying state alone.
Next, Teehankee had his sights on Leino. He pointed his gun at him and asked: "Do you want trouble?" Leino replied, "no."
As for Maureen, she was appalled about their current stature. Moments later, she became agitated and tried yelling for help. She repeatedly shouted: "Oh, my God, he's got a gun. He's gonna kill us. Will somebody help us?"
This irritated Teehankee. He aimed his gun at Maureen, warning her to keep quiet. Then he ordered Leino to have a seat on the sidewalk.
According to Leino, he had no choice but to follow Teehankee's orders. On the other hand, Maureen could not keep herself from staying silent and became hysterical once again.
Both Teehankee and Maureen played cat and mouse as the latter tried to circle around the vicinity, but eventually, the perpetrator was able to catch her and made her sit beside Leino on the sidewalk.
Standing over the two, Teehankee, for a moment, turned his back on them. However, he promptly decided to look back at them for the final time and shot them cold-bloodedly.
Leino told authorities that despite him being shot in the upper jaw area, he was still conscious and was able to see Teehankee shoot Maureen and flee the scene.
He was also able to get on his knees and shout for help as he noticed that three people were looking. The witnesses were Domingo Florece, a private security guard at a residence nearby; Agripino Cardenas, a private security guard from another residence nearby; and Vicente Mangubat, a stay-in driver, from a different residence nearby.
While the unfortunate incident was ongoing, Florece and Cardenas were on the job at the residences of their respective employers. On the other hand, Mangubat was in his quarters, preparing his things before he went home.
All three witnesses heard the gunshots Teehankee fired while at their separate posts.
Furthermore, upon hearing the first shot, which killed Roland Chapman, Florece got suspicious and went out to inspect the commotion. Cadenas and Mangubat were able to witness Teehankee's rampage from their posts.
Aside from Leino's testimony, the other three witnesses also saw Teehankee flee the scene on his Mitsubishi Lancer. They were also able to see the plate number of the car, PDW 566.
The three also verified that the corner of Caballero and Mahogany Streets where the grisly crime scene took place was sufficiently lightened by a Meralco lamppost amid the unfortunate incident.
After Teehankee rushed away from the crime scene, the witnesses came near to the crime scene and saw a man riding his bicycle pass by them. They requested the man to report the incident to the Dasmariñas Village security.
The village security responded as quickly as possible and rushed Leino and Maureen to the Makati Medical Center. Meanwhile, Chapman, who was the first of the three that got shot, was already declared dead.
Shortly after the village security's prompt response, the Makati police and NBI agents went over the crime scene to investigate. Based on initial reports, the suspect's car was identified as a box-type Mitsubishi Lancer with plate number PDW 566.
The authorities then proceeded to check the list of vehicles registered in the Dasmariñas Village Homeowners' Association. They were able to track down the license plates to Claudio Teehankee Jr., a resident at 1339 Caballero Street.
In the following days after the gruesome crime, then-NBI Director Alfredo Lim assigned Salvador Ranin, the Chief of the Special Operations Group (SOG), to establish and lead a team to investigate the incident.
On July 14, 1991, a day after the shooting, a group of NBI operatives conducted interviews in the vicinity of the crime scene. First, they questioned Domingo Florece and asked him to the NBI office the following day for further inquiries.
Second, they interviewed Agripino Cadenas, though he seemed reluctant to disclose any information and denied having witnessed the incident.
However, the NBI did not believe Cadenas' denial and came back on the evening of that same day with a subpoena that he is being invited to appear before the NBI the following day.
On July 15, 1991, both witnesses appeared at the NBI office. Florece swiftly administered his sworn statement while Cadenas continued to deny his knowledge from that unfortunate day.
NBI agents that interviewed Cadenas were becoming frustrated with his non-compliance. It made them inform SOG Chief Ranin of the troubling situation.
SOG Chief Ranin then decided to interview Cadenas himself. He invited the witness to his office to convince him to tell the truth about what he saw in the shooting incident.
During the meeting, Cadenas finally gave in to SOG Chief Ranin and told him about his fears of getting involved in this controversial case. He also expressed his fear for himself and his family because the suspect might harass or harm them.
Afterward, SOG Chief Ranin guaranteed Cadenas that he would be protected by the NBI, making the worrisome witness agree to testify.
On the following day, Cadenas gave his full disclosure to the NBI based on what he witnessed during the shooting. He also identified the vehicle used by the perpetrator as a box-type Lancer with plate number PDW 566.
The NBI then showed Cadenas ten pictures of different men, one belonging to Claudio Teehankee Jr. Afterward, the witness thoroughly reviewed the photos and identified Teehankee as the shooter.
As soon as Cadenas identified the suspect, SOG Chief Ranin advised his agents and the witnesses to head over to the Makati Regional Trial Court to promptly obtain a search warrant for Teehankee's vehicle.
The request of the NBI was approved by Judge Rebecca Salvador, particularly a search warrant authorizing the NBI to search and seize Teehankee's 1983 Mitsubishi Lancer with a color silver metallic gray bearing the plate number PDW 566, which was also identified by the witnesses.
Subsequently, SOG Chief Ranin and his agents visited Teehankee's residence at #1339 Caballero Street in Dasmariñas Village to present the search warrant.
Upon their arrival, they were received by Mrs. Pilar Teehankee, the mother of Claudi Teehankee Jr. The NBI presented themselves properly and told Mrs. Teehankee that they were directly ordered by then-NBI Director Lim to investigate Claudio Jr. and invite him to the NBI office for further questioning.
However, Mrs. Teehankee told the agents that her son was not at their residence.
SOG Chief Ranin, together with his personnel, checked the residence's garage and saw the vehicle that was identified to have been used by Teehankee to flee after the shooting.
The agents also requested the car keys of the vehicle, but Mrs. Teehankee told them that the keys were with her son.
Without much choice, SOG Chief Ranin then requested Mrs. Teehankee to connect him with her son. The suspect's mother obliged and connected her son with the NBI through the phone.
SOG Chief Ranin had a brief conversation with Claudio Teehankee Jr., in which the suspect agreed to meet the investigators at the NBI later on that same day.
After discussing with the suspect, the agents hauled Teehankee's vehicle and brought it to the NBI office for further investigation.
Later in the evening, Claudio Teehankee Jr. arrived at the NBI office and was interviewed by Director Lim.
The NBI asked the suspect about the whereabouts of his vehicle at the time of the shooting. Teehankee then claimed that his car was involved in an accident a few weeks back and was no longer working since then.
Furthermore, Director Lim urged Teehankee to tell the truth about what really happened during the shooting. The suspect denied that he was behind the gruesome shooting.
Director Lim then informed the suspect that there are eyewitnesses during the crime that identified him as the gunman. Teehankee froze with nothing else to say.
Consequently, the NBI requested Teehankee to join a lineup filled with six other men to conduct identification practices. All witnesses, including Jussi Leino, the lone survivor from the shooting incident, identified Teehankee as the main culprit.
As for Maureen Hultman, she initially lived for two months, but unfortunately, she did not survive the gunshot wound to her temple, making Teehankee face two counts of murder for the shooting.
In 1995, after a grueling courtroom battle between the prosecution and the defense, Claudio Teehankee Jr. was convicted by the Supreme Court for the murder of Maureen Hultman and Roland John Chapman.
A decade later, Teehankee was stabbed by a fellow prisoner at the maximum-security compound of the New Bilibid Prison by an attacker who was said to be suffering from mental illness.
He was rushed into a nearby hospital and survived the attack, unlike two of the three of his victims that suffered painful deaths.
In 2008, news broke out that jolted the nation, especially the family and friends of Teehankee's three victims. Then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pardoned convicted murderer Claudio Teehankee Jr. because of good behavior.
Opposition members began questioning GMA's decision to pardon a convicted criminal and made it seem like Teehankee got away from serving his full sentence because of his family ties.
In recalling past appointees of the former President, she appointed Manuel Teehankee as a Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2004.
Manuel Teehankee is the brother of Claudio Teehankee Jr., which makes a lot of sense that they somehow requested the President to pardon him, as the opposition pointed out.
It is also important to point out that a sitting President may have the sole discretion to pardon convicts, but in this case, former President Arroyo may have misused her power on pardoning Teehankee from a gruesome crime that he obviously committed.
We all know that the judicial system is very far from being perfect, which may have been the reason why those who crafted the 1987 constitution empowered a sitting president to pardon convicted criminals.
We may consider that the intention behind this provision was to help the people that were wrongfully convicted get justice.
Claudio Teehankee Jr. is far from being wrongfully convicted. In fact, he is one of the most obvious killers out there that was detained just a few days after the gruesome crime he committed.
What made this case controversial was the suspect's vast political resources. Being a son of a former Chief Justice and brother of a well-known public figure, Claudio Teehankee Jr., blockaded swift justice and eventually got away from serving his full prison sentence because of his surname.
There must be plenty of wrongfully convicted people out there that deserved former President Arroyo's pardon. Politicking got in the way.
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