Justice for a judge
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
That was a shocker released by the National Bureau of Investigation when it announced the filing of charges against several persons it claims are the suspects in the dastardly killing of Judge Henry Arles on April 22 this year.
Arles, a judge assigned at Branch 61 of the Regional Trial Court in Kabankalan City, was known for his record in dispatching of cases under him faster than most of his colleagues, and for having an irreproachable reputation. It was therefore a great shock to his fellow judges here, as well as those in the national scene, and even the country’s entire judiciary, when he met that cruel and untimely death.
Naturally, everybody hoped and wished for the crime to be solved, the culprits apprehended, and made answerable for their act. But it was a much greater shock for them all when the NBI released their alleged findings, and the names of those being charged for the killing of the highly-respected judge.
A high official of the area Arles was supposed to cover is among those named in the charge sheet, and this, too, elicited further shocks from the Negrense community. Many even wondered if the NBI had not been too rash in coming to the conclusion that a town mayor, and one who belongs to a well-known and respected family, could be named a suspect in the case.
The family and friends of Mayor Paul Alvarez of Ilog, the one pinpointed by the NBI, citing their witnesses, are naturally appalled by the development. But being also decent and law-abiding people, they have declared their belief in their member’s innocence and their readiness to face the charges in court.
Let us hope that Justice does not get delayed in this high-profile case so that those charged can present their side and defend themselves. The swift determination of their guilt or innocence is the best gauge of how real justice can be served.*