2,000 attend mass for 'justice for mayor'-A A +A
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
ABOUT 2,000 local officials, employees, teachers and residents of Ilog town attended the mass for “Justice for Mayor Paul Alvarez” at the covered court of the Municipal Government on Monday.
Vice Mayor Nelson Genito said Mayor Alvarez was not present during the mass.
He said the prayer mass was in support for Mayor Alvarez who, together with eight other suspects, was charged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the killing of Kabankalan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Henry Arles last April 24.
He also pointed out that they believe that Alvarez is innocent of the charge against him and that they also believe that he is not capable of committing such crime.
"We were also shocked about the case because Mayor Alvarez is a kind person and a good leader," he said.
Meanwhile, lawyer Francisco Britanico, brother-in-law of the slain judge, said the activity was more of a political rally rather than a mass.
He asserted that the Alvarez family was behind the activity in gathering the people to serve their own purpose in defense of Mayor Alvarez.
He also pointed out that it was the members of the Arles family who needs justice for the death of their father.
Britanico also assailed the streamers printed with “Justice for Mayor Paul Alvarez, Kondenahon ang Kabutigan (Condemn the Lies)” that were hang in many conspicuous places in the town.
He condemned the second line "Kondenahon ang Kabutigan," alleging that the Alvarez family and the Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (Nahra) wanted to make it appear that Mayor Alvarez and the other suspects who are members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) are the victims of human rights abuses.
"What about the human wrong that they have committed?" Britanico asked.
Even if the suspects will recant, Britanico said the prosecution still has very solid evidence.
He said the NBI has officially documented everything as strong proof to the personal testimonies of the three suspects because they have already foreseen the scenario that the suspects are vulnerable to monetary offers that could lead them to recant their testimonies.
He cited that when the affidavits were made, the suspects were allowed to review it and even made handwritten corrections on their affidavits.
They were also videotaped and there was no sign of torture or threat on their physical appearance and mood.
The three suspects, namely Jessie Daguia, Vincent Capunong and Eddie Fortunado are still detained at the NBI in Manila.
The families of the suspects, with lawyer Honorata Victoria, came to NBI-Manila to visit the three suspects last week. However, they said that Victoria was not allowed to see the three suspects personally, as they were barred to come due to the alleged refusal of the Arles family for them to get access to the suspects.
Britanico vehemently denied barring the families and the lawyer of the suspects to come inside the NBI detention cell in Manila.
“What is her basis for saying that? I was not personally there. I don’t even know her. She could be disbarred for saying things that are untrue,” Britanico said.
He said the NBI has its own policy in the visitation of people in its custody.
Victoria should have presented proof that she is officially representing the suspects, as there was already another lawyer who officially represents the suspect, added Britanico. (Teresa D. Ellera)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 07, 2012.