Jacqueline Comes Home, a movie based on the Chiong sisters murder case came out in theaters last July 18, 2018. The murder case was so controversial that it was dubbed “Cebu’s trial of the century”. Following the announcement of the movie’s launch date and trailer, the netizens’ reactions were mixed. Some expressed excitement over the film’s dark, mysterious crime theme, while on the other hand, a lot showed their dismay, called it biased, and encouraged people to boycott the movie. They then urged the public to watch the documentary Give Up Tomorrow instead.
Give Up Tomorrow is a documentary by Marty Syjuco and Michael Collins that follows the story of Francisco Juan “Paco” Larranaga. Paco is the alleged leader of the “Chiong Seven” who are accused of murdering siblings Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong in 1997. The film explains why they think Paco is innocent and why they think he wasn’t given a fair trial.
Whether you’re planning to see Jacqueline Comes Home or not, Give Up Tomorrow is still a great watch so here are a few reasons why you should:
It shows the other side of the story
There are two sides to every story and this documentary focuses on the point of view of the accused. Though Paco is just one out of the seven accused, the documentary focused on his story because his name was used by the media to represent the “Chiong 7”.
It encourages you to think critically
This film has been shown to many students by teachers. Some of them even consider the documentary as an effective educational tool because it shows how the justice system works and that it also has its flaws. It compels the viewers to question what we see and realize how important it is to know about both sides of the issue.
It gives you detailed information on the case
Give Up Tomorrow tells the story of how the court found Paco guilty and how the Larranagas fought to save him from lethal injection. It also shows testimonies not only from the Larranaga side but also from the point of view of the Chiongs. It contains interviews with Thelma Chiong, the Larranaga family, the witnesses of Paco, and even the Spanish foreign minister during that time.
It gives you a glimpse of the conditions of the Philippine justice system
Give Up Tomorrow aims to convince people of Paco’s innocence by citing the flaws of the Philippine judicial system. It also gave hints on how politics and corruption can influence justice. It also showed how the death penalty was abolished in the country in 2006, and although briefly shown, it also features videos, through a smuggled camera, of how it is inside the Bilibid prison.
It was told in an interesting way
Give Up Tomorrow cleverly showed pieces of evidence and witnesses to convince its viewers that Paco is innocent in a way that won’t bore the viewers. With its 18 international awards and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, the documentary has inspired and continues to inspire a lot of people.
It has been almost 6 years since the documentary was released, but the story of the film remains relevant to this day. Some people may find inspiration from Paco’s determination to not give up. Others may use this as motivation to help make our justice system better.