The Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court continues to closely monitor the case against the suspects in the murder of Kabankalan Judge Henry Arles.
Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez told the DAILY STAR yesterday he had been informed of the release of suspect Alejandro Capunong Wednesday on bail for charges of illegal possession of firearms.
Capunong is facing a complaint for the murder of Arles before the Department of Justice, along with his co-respondents Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez , Emmanuel “Eman” Medez – an alleged aide of the mayor, and RPA-ABB members Marvin Salve and Gerald Gallano Tabujara who are not detained, and Jessie Gedacan Daguia and Eddie Magno Fotunado who remain in NBI custody in Manila.
The Arles family has also asked the DOJ to include Negros Occidental Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez and Cauayan Vice Mayor Jerry Tabujara as respondents in the murder case.
All the respondents have denied involvement in the killing of the judge in Ilog town on April 24.
The Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, in a statement issued by Alan Gozon, said the temporary liberty of Capunong on bail is not a sad day for victims of injustices but a triumph for those who are seeking the truth.
NAHRA was reacting to a statement of lawyer Frank Britanico, brother-in-law of Arles, that the release of Capunong was a sad day for the victims of injustice and a happy day for the masterminds of the judge’s murder.
The NAHRA statement, on the other hand, said the release of Capunong on bail shows that the justice system works.
Capunong’s release was facilitated by NAHRA after his family, including relatives of Daguia and Fortunado, sought the help of the organization, Gozon said.
NAHRA said it condemns injustices committed on any individual, including Judge Henry Arles, but added that torturing people to admit a crime is not right.
Capunong and the other accused are considered innocent until proven guilty by a court of law and to conclude that his release on bail was a sad day for victims of injustices was like accusing our justice system of bias and for not observing due process, NAHRA added.
The family of the late Judge Arles should be the first to know this being lawyers, it said.
Based on the chronology of events and sworn affidavit of the three suspects, they were set-up by a certain Rolyn Daguia Beraye and were apprehended by NBI agents, NAHRA said.
When the detention of the three suspects was exposed to the media and they retracted their statements implicating other persons to the alleged crime, Beraye was presented by Britanico to the media and she implicated Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez and Cauayan Vice Mayor Jerry Tabujara, it added.
Beraye was not telling the truth, everything in her affidavit was all “pack of lies” from her real name, address, status and chronology of events, it added.
Capunong has a lot more to tell, including the torture inflicted on him and his two companions, the NAHRA statement said.*CPG