Benguet officials beg Aquino to free ex-official-A A +A
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
OFFICIALS of Benguet supported each other and reiterated again their appeal to President Benigno Aquino III to grant executive clemency to a former official who was wrongly convicted of two crimes.
The call was started by the Barangay Council of Ampucao, Itogon on September 20, 2005 in favor of a former Youth Council officer of the barangay who was convicted of robbery with homicide.
The accused is a resident of the barangay identified as Henry Alicnas.
The barangay Council revealed Alicnas was mistakenly charged and imprisoned at the Baguio City Jail for theft in 1998. He was accused by a certain policeman claiming Alicnas took his lost firearm.
Later, it was proven the firearm was taken by another person. The firearm was returned to the policeman. This resulted to the withdrawal of charges filed against Alicnas and his companion.
However, he was about to leave the jail, he was detained again because of the allegation of another policeman that Alicnas looks a lot like the sketch of a suspect to a robbery with homicide case.
He then faced the trial which the officials claimed he’s innocent of.
He was convicted under then Judge Ruben Ayson.
The family of Alicnas pleaded for the judge to reverse his decision attesting to the good attitudes of the accused but the plea landed on deaf ears. The Alicnas family maintained Henry is not the culprit in the case.
Alicnas was brought to the Muntinlupa for the case review of the Supreme Court. During these times, residents, friends, and family of Henry backed by some political leaders submitted a letter to the highest court attesting to the innocence of the accused but no one listened to them. Even the private complainant of the case identified as Ma. Lyna Bautista–Gervacio submitted a letter acquitting the accused but the Supreme Court upheld the conviction Alicnas despite these efforts.
The complainant said in her letter, “I petitioned with prayer and appeal before this court to release the accused because I wholeheartedly desist and has forgiven him and I am very willing to help him for early release from prison.”
She also stated the accused was a very kind, helpful and cooperative citizen in the community.
The call of the Barangay Council of Ampucao was supported by the town’s council endorsing the matter to the provincial board for further support. Town officials revealed Alicnas has a good record in the municipality and he will never do such violence.
The Provincial Board also supported the call for clemency and pushed their appeal to the office of the President.
Prior to these efforts, there are early resolutions calling the attention of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo submitted by the same councils from the barangay up to the board but until now, Alicnas is still at the Bilibid National Penitentiary.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 14, 2013.