Paco Larrañaga was one of my student’s in CCA, Manila, in 1997. He was wrongly convicted of murder, and was sent to prison. He was even given a death sentence by the Supreme Court. Luckily, the very timely abolishment of the death penalty by President Arroyo saved his life.
He is now in a Spanish prison because he is a Spanish citizen and was transferred there as part of a treaty. But whether he is here in Muntinlupa or there in the Spanish prison, make no mistake, he is still languishing. This week will be his 15 years anniversary in jail.
In 1997, I went to Cebu, to testify that I saw Paco coming down the steps of our school at 6:30pm, almost the same time, and the day that one of the prosecutor’s witness said that they saw Paco, taking the victims into a car in front of Ayala Mall in Cebu, an impossibility to be in two places at the same time with thousands of miles between the two islands. Thirty-five witnesses for Paco were not heard in court.
I feel frustrated and helpless at times, but when I see organizations like “Free Paco Now”, it gives me hope, that this boy, who is now a man, can still salvage some remnants of a life that was stolen from him.
If you have the time, please read about Paco and learn about him through “Free Paco Now” and “Give Up Tomorrow” sites. Trust me when I say that this thing that happened to Paco, is an injustice that should never happen to anyone of us. Please find it in your hearts to sign the petition in “Free Paco Now” site and maybe something can be done for him.
Chef Rowena Bautista