Lawyer Frank Britanico, brother-in-law of slain Judge Henry Arles, said yesterday that they continue to have a strong case against the accused in his murder.
He said the retraction of the three Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade members of their admissions to the crime, and the alibis bared by their two other companions who surfaced Friday, are not enough to weaken their case.
On July 27, the NBI filed a complaint against Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez, his aide Emmanuel Medez, and RPA-ABB members Jessie Daguia, Alejandro Capunong and Eddie Fortunado – who are under NBI custody in Manila, and Marvin Salve and Gerald Tabujara who are not detained for the murder of Arles in Ilog town on April 24.
Aside from the witness identified only as Honeybee, they have numerous other witnesses who will testify to the participation of the accused in the crime, Britanico said.
Honeybee, aside from implicating those charged in the complaint filed before the DOJ, also linked Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. and Cauayan Vice Mayor Jerry Tabujara to the crime, which both of them vehemently denied.
We also have more new witnesses who have surfaced but the truthfulness, materiality and relevance of their testimonies have to be evaluated, Britanico said.
As to the three in the NBI custody who retracted their admission, Britancio pointed out that they had spontaneuosly spoken of their participation in the crime to the media.
The Supreme Court , in an en banc decision on March 3, 1997, in People of the Philippines vs. Pablito Andapan y Hernandez alias Bobby ruled that spontaneous admissions before the media are admissible in court, he added.*CPG