Officials to hold ‘mass for justice’-A A +A
Monday, August 6, 2012
OFFICIALS of the municipality of Ilog along with the officials of the entire 15 barangays in town will hold a mass calling for “Justice for Mayor Paul Alvarez” at the town's public plaza today, Monday.
The mass is in support for Alvarez, as the people of Ilog rally behind him against accusations made by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that the mayor is the mastermind behind the killing of Kabankalan Regional Trial Court Judge Henry Arles last April 24.
Alvarez was tagged as the mastermind based on the affidavits of the three self-confessed assassins who are now at the custody of the NBI in Manila.
Meanwhile, the family of the three members of the RPA-ABB tagged as suspects in the ambush-slay of Arles is challenging the NBI to show the three in public to refute allegations that they were tortured into admitting the crime.
They also slammed the NBI for not allowing their lawyer to see the three in their detention cell.
The three suspects, namely Jessie Daguia, Alejandro Capunong and Eddie Fortunado, are detained at the NBI-Manila allegedly for security reasons, said NBI chief lawyer Ferdinand Lavin.
The three were first slapped with illegal possession of firearms charges by the NBI filed at the local court here to allegedly justify their detention. A murder complaint was also filed against the three before the
Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila.
In an email to lawyer Romeo Subaldo, counsel of the three suspects in the illegal possession of firearms charges, lawyer Honorata Victoria said she was not allowed to confer with the three in Manila, although she was accompanied by Maribel Daguia, niece of Daguia.
Subaldo and Victoria are the lawyers of the three suspects.
Victoria said in her email that she was at the NBI Manila from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. She said she insisted to see the three “but NBI didn't allow me.”
“I was not given the alleged complaint for murder they filed at DOJ,” she added.
“This is irregular, counsel being prohibited from seeing the detainees on the ground that I can't show a written document given by the three detainees to represent them. I was with a relative (of one of the suspects) but they still did not allow me (to see the accused),” she said.
Victoria also said that she spoke to lawyer Ann Marie Palermo, the counsel of the three when they executed their affidavits with the NBI.
She said that according to the NBI, Palermo is the counsel of the three.
Palermo admitted that she was assigned as lawyer for the three suspects by the NBI because they have no lawyer at that time when they voluntarily offered their testimonies under oath.
Victoria also said that when the NBI deputy director was about to allow her to see the suspects, a family member of Arles and lawyer Francisco Britanico, the judge’s brother-in-law, objected.
“This is one for the books,” Victoria said.
“It is also mind-boggling why the family of the judge and Atty. Britanico can freely visit the three at NBI. I was not able to get an answer why they were transferred to Manila. Upon whose decision (were they transferred)?” Victoria said.
In a related development, a relative of Daguia alleged that Fortunato was offered by a relative of the slain judge with P50,000 to turn witness in the case.
This was revealed by Maribel Daguia, niece of Jessie Daguia who visited the three at the NBI detention cell in Manila Friday.
Maribel also accused the NBI of preventing their lawyer, Victoria from seeing his uncle, Fortunado and Capunong but allowed Britanico,
Arles brother-in-law of the slain judge, and Philip, son of the slain judge, in going in and out of the detention cell to see the three even during ungodly hours.
She added that Fortunado is being threatened and pressured to turn witness.
She said the three will not turn witness because they do not know who killed the judge.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 06, 2012.