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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, November 26, 2012
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Act on kidnap, torture,
six RPA men ask DOJ

Alleged gunman in Arles slay out on bail

Six members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade tagged in the murder of Judge Henry Arles have filed a memorandum before the Department of Justice, asking that the case against them be dismissed, and that kidnapping and torture charges be lodged against their captors.

Jessie Daguia, the alleged gunman in the murder of Arles, Saturday said he gained temporary freedom after posting bail on Wednesday for an illegal possession of firearm case filed against him by the National Bureau of Investigation before the Bacolod Regional Trial Court.

“I am happy to be home to be able to spend Christmas with my family,” said Daguia, who was released from the custody of the NBI in Manila.

Daguia said he is prepared to face the charges pending against him before the DOJ for the murder of the judge, which he denied committing.

The judge’s son, Philip Arles, yesterday said “We lament the release of Daguia on bail and view this occurrence as a hindrance to our pursuit of justice. Yet, the family remains resolute and hopeful that truth and justice shall prevail in the end. We are awaiting the resolution of the case with the Department of Justice and we remain confident in our justice system.”

In a 10-page joint memorandum sent by registered mail to the DOJ, Daguia, Alejandro Capunong, Eddie Fortunado, Rustom Puro, Gerald Tabujara and Juvy Salve “alias Marvin”, of the RPA-ABB denied participation in the murder of Arles in Barangay Manalad, Ilog town, on April 24, and asked that the DOJ dismiss the murder complaint lodged against them.

The complaint is based mainly on the extra-judicial confessions executed by Daguia, Capunong and Fortunado, which they claimed they were tortured into making, the memorandum said.

Their co-respondents, Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez, Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. and Cauayan Vice Mayor Jerry Tabujara also earlier denied participation in the murder of the judge.

The RPA men, in their joint memorandum, asked the DOJ to direct the Bacolod City Prosecutor, Provincial Prosecutor of Negros Occidental, or the Kabankalan City Prosecutor, to conduct an investigation for the filling of the following cases:

*Violation of Republic Act No. 9745 (Anti-Torture Act of 2009) against the brother-in-law of the slain judge, lawyer Frank Britanico, his sons Philip and Albert Arles, and Cyrus Aluzan and Henry Arellano of the NBI;

*Kidnapping and serious illegal detention raps against the NBI agents who arrested and detained Eddie Fortunado despite the absence of a warrant of arrest;

*Violation of domicile against NBI agents who conducted a search on the house of Tessa Fortunado, mother of Eddie, without a warrant; and

*For the concealment of the true name and other personal circumstances against Rolyn Baylon, a witness against the respondents in the Arles murder case.

The NBI, Britanico and the Arles brothers have denied that torture was inflicted on Capunong, Daguia and Fortunado to force them to admit to the killing.

NBI Bacolod Chief Ferdinand Lavin has also said Capunong, Daguia and Fortunado had sought protective custody of the NBI and were not illegally detained.

Britanico said the joint memorandum of the RPA-ABB men had not been received by the DOJ as of Friday, and it appears that the RPA is resorting to a media war on the instigation of their masterminds for their political ends.

However, Britanico said he is confident their opponents will lose their popularity by engaging in such war through the media.

The DOJ is expected to resolve the complaint against the respondents in the Arles’ murder by December 15, he said.

He also was not aware of how Daguia had posted bail, Britanico said.

Daguia is set for arraignment for the illegal possession of firearm raps against him on December 7 yet, and that is when they expect him to post bail, Britanico said.

Britanico said he has been informed of three plots on his life being hatched allegedly by the masterminds in the Arles murder.*CPG

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