The refusal to give up today

GIVE UP TOMORROW exposes a Kafkaesque extravaganza populated by flamboyantly corrupt public officials, cops on the take, and a frenzied legal and media circus. It is also an intimate family drama focused on the near mythic struggle of two angry and sorrowful mothers who have dedicated more than a decade to executing or saving one young man, Paco Larrañaga.

by Katrina Stuart Santiago

On the evening of July 16 1997, Paco Larrañaga was having drinks with his classmates from culinary school after a full day of exams. He went home at 2AM and was back in school at 8AM on July 17, for more exams. The teacher who proctors the tests swears that Paco was present in that classroom, his classmates are witness to his attendance – in school and for drinks the night before, official school records prove his presence, too. Paco was in Manila, and nowhere else, on July 16 and July 17, 1997.  Read on



  1. manuelbuencamino

    What reason did the SC give for upholding the conviction of Larrañaga? How could it decide one way in the Webb case and another way in this case? I think the judge who convicted Larrañaga and those justices who upheld the conviction should be made to serve his time in prison.

  2. BrianB

    Any reason why they framed Paco, et al?

    In famous murder cases in the US, media and lawyers often create narratives. Until now, I do not have a picture in my mind what might have happened.

    Who killed the chiong sisters? What made the suspects suspects? What other possible narratives can we make from the evidence? Is there a timeline of the day of the murder.

    Since we are so keen in taking this case public (to the public), the least we can do is piece together a clearer picture of the prosecutor’s version, i.e. why he thought the seven did it.

    I understand it’s not the defense’s job to prove no-guilt; all they had to do was cast reasonable doubt, pero dapat may counter-narrative na sila ngayon. Di naman tayo korte na puro technicality lang.

    Yung kesyo daming alibi ni Paco, di ba daw takot mga yun mag perjure? Of course hindi! Mga witnesses binabayaran lang naman mga yan usually. Kung misan almusal lang. Wag nga tayong pa inosente. Kung kaibigan ko yun o kilala ng pamilya, mag wiwitness din ako maski sa totoo di ko sya nakita sa school, diba? Kukulungin ba ako dahil nag sinungaling ako sa korte? di naman.

    And why can’t they find witnesses during the abduction or any circumstantial evidence I can use to piece together the events of the day the two were abducted.

    I understand you’re all wishing our justice system is more civilized. The handling of evidence for example. Sana nga naman mala CSI, pero ganyan talaga pulis natin. Kung tatanunging natin forensic expert tungkol sa lahat ng ebdensy pinapasa sa korte, 99% yun siguro palpak o kontaminated o ano pa.

    My own thinking. Paco had a lot of alibis and the judge, having lived in this country his entire life, resorted into unfair judgment. It’s a miscarriage of justice but only insofar as there is a lack of evidence to convict the suspects. But as an ordinary reader and bystander, I’m more interested in this question: kung hindi sila, sino? Tutal nasa kulungan na.