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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, March 14, 2007
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Orola brothers ask GMA
to hasten Salabas case

The family of the former barangay captain of Bacolod who was kidnapped and murdered in Bacolod City in August 2003, has appealed to the Office of the President for the speedy solution of his case.

Former Bacolod Rep. John Orola Jr. and his brother Tomas, submitted an urgent appeal to the office of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her personal intervention to attain justice for the brutal killing of their brother-in-law Eleuterio Salabas, his nephew Maximo Lomoljo and Ricardo Suganob.

In their letter to the President, copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday, the Orolas said nobody has been arrested although Guihulngan Regional Trial Court Judge Mario Trinidad had issued arrest warrants against the 21 accused, 10 of them policemen, in October 2006 yet. The National Bureau of Investigation has also been conducting a manhunt to arrest the fugitives but no one has been arrested, the Orolas said.

They said there seems to be a powerful "unseen hand" working for the dismissal of the case, which is now under review by the office of the President.

The Orolas said they were surprised when news broke out last month about an alleged decision of the Office of the President to sustain the appeal filed by the lawyer of the four policemen accused in the kidnapping and murder of Salabas and his companions.

The reports pre-empted the government action on the matter, they said.

The 10 accused are Chief Inspectors Clarence Dongail and Jimmy Fortaleza, Senior Inspectors Jonathan Lorilla and Bonifer Gotas, SPO2 Freddie Natividad, SPO1 Nelson Grijaldo, Police Officers 2 Dennis Belandres and Ruel Villacanas and Allen Winston Hulleza and PO1 Bernardo Cimatu.

The civilians accused are businessman Manolo Escalante, Ronnie Herrera, July Flores alias Kirhat dela Rosa, Carlo de los Santos alias "Caloy", Lorraine Abay alias Lulu, Mamerto, Elma and Elson all surnamed Caņete, Jude Montilla and Ramonito Estanislao.*DMG

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