Lawmaker: 6th district generally peaceful-A A +A
Friday, August 3, 2012
REPRESENTATIVE Mercedes Alvarez (6th district, Negros Occidental) said during a press conference Thursday that her district is generally peaceful.
"I have been to the far-flung areas in the sixth district with only my nanay (mother), my driver and my staff. I am not afraid to go elsewhere in the district because I know I have not stepped on the shoes of others," Alvarez said.
The congresswoman-daughter of Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez and sister of Ilog Mayor Paul Alvarez issued the statement in reaction to claims by the family of slain Kabankalan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Henry Arles that the peace and order situation in the 6th district is unstable.
Mayor Alvarez was tagged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as the mastermind in the ambush-slay of the judge last April 24.
Last Wednesday, the slain judge’s brother-in-law lawyer Francisco Britanico and children Philip and Rhea Arles held a press conference at the Negros Press Club (NPC) office and called on Mayor Alvarez to face the charges against him.
Britanico and Philip Arles wore bullet proof vest and helmet but Rhea was noticeably without such protective gear during the press conference.
Britanico and Philip said that their attire was reflective of the peace and order situation in the sixth district that resulted to the killing of Judge Arles.
Representative Alvarez downplayed such claims by the Arles family.
"It's their perception of the place but the police and the Army can vouch for the peace and order situation of the district," she said.
When asked for a reaction on the bulletproof attire of Britanico and Philip Arles, the lawmaker replied, "Is that a fashion question? I don't know if that was their tactics to the media. I have no comment about their attire."
Tagged with Mayor Alvarez in the killing of Judge Arles were Jessie Daguia, Alejandro Capunong and Eddie Forunado who are now in the custody of the NBI in Manila.
Recommended for prosecution along with Alvarez and three abovementioned suspects are Emmanuel “Eman” Medez, reportedly an employee of the Ilog Municipal Government, and Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) members Marvin Salve and Gerald Gallano Tabujara. Medez, Salve and Tabujara are still at large.
Two unidentified men and a woman who allegedly also took part in the murder have been tagged as John Doe and Jane Doe in the complaint filed by lawyer Albert Arles and Philip Arles, sons of the judge, NBI-Bacolod chief lawyer Ferdinand Lavin said.
On the challenge of the Arles family that Mayor Alvarez should surrender to the NBI, Representative Alvarez said, "How can we surrender someone without a warrant of arrest? We are just waiting for the court or any subpoena for Mayor Paul. We will face it, if there is any charge. But how can we answer something since we have not received any notice?"
She reiterated that up to this time, they have not received the official copy of the complaint against Mayor Alvarez before the Department of Justice. (Teresa D. Ellera)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 03, 2012.