By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
BACOLOD CITY — The supporters of the slain Regional Trial Court Judge Henry Arles known as Justice for Arles, Justice for All (JAJA), clarified that their paid print advertisement has nothing to with politics.
JAJA issued the clarification after Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez Jr. of Negros Occidental cried foul and labeled the print advertisement a “black propaganda” against his candidacy for governor and the rest of his party associates.
JAJA stressed they are not a political group and the advertisement they placed in local newspapers here advocates for speedy justice so that the soul of slain judge can eventually rest in peace.
“Our group, JAJA, is not a political group. We are not coming out to campaign for a particular candidate, including that of Philip Arles. We are here to help the Arles family in seeking speedy justice for the death of their father,” JAJA said in a statement.
JAJA also said that the gubernatorial aspirant was wrong when he insisted that their advertisement was being used to earn sympathy to the advantage of his rival, re-electionist Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., for it was placed adjacent to that of the chief executive’s.
“It is not within our control whether they put our ads side-by-side with somebody’s placement; we always respect the integrity of the print media’s editorial judgment,” the group said.
The advertisement calling justice for Arles appeared in local daily newspapers last week in line with the first death anniversary of the honorable judge this coming April 24.
Arles was ambushed and shot dead by a gunman while driving home in Ilog town, Negros Occidental.
To hasten the probe, Occidental Provincial Police Office created a special task force who would concentrate on the case before it was referred to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Four months after the assassination, NBI officials filed a murder case against Alvarez’s son John Paul, the incumbent mayor of Ilog, in the Department of Justice in Manila.
Also included in the complaint were Ilog administrative aide Emmanuel Mendez as well as five members of the breakaway Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade —Marvin Salve, Gerald Gallano, Jessie Gedacan Daguia, Alejandro Castillo Capunong and Eddie Magno Fotunado.
Acting as complainants in the murder case were Arles’ sons Albert and Philip. Albert claimed that his father was killed because he helped the late Councilor Antonio Gequillana in following up the graft case filed against the mayor in the Ombudsman.
He further claimed that Alvarez’s son hired the RPA-ABB members to kill his father. But Alvarez maintained that his son was innocent.