Both Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. and Philip Arles, son of slain Judge Henry Arles who is running for the sixth congressional seat in Negros Occidental, predicted yesterday each other’s defeat in the May polls.
Alvarez accused Arles of being a braggart, and said he will face his biggest humiliation in May when he is defeated in the polls. Arles is running against the vice governor’s daughter, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez.
Arles, on the other hand, said it is Alvarez who is the one sure to lose to Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., based on the results of surveys from all over Negros Occidental.
“Why would Negrenses elect a candidate who has been linked to a crime, who does not have a concrete program for the province, and who refuses to accept a debate with the governor?” Arles asked, at a press conference at the Business Inn in Bacolod City yesterday morning.
“What qualities does he (Alvarez) have to be elected by the people? Just because he is supported by a rich man gives him the right to be governor?” Arles asked.
This election is an opportunity for Negrenses to show that Negros Occidental is a free province where people exercise their right to pick their officials, he added.
Alvarez, on the other hand, accused Arles of “palagpat nga sugilanon (made-up stories),” and of hurling charges against him and his son for propaganda purposes, noting that no case has been filed against them in court by the Department of Justice up to now.
Alvarez said he is prepared to face Marañon at the proper forum when the campaign period starts.
Arles said, hopefully, the 90-day preventive suspension ordered by the Sandiganbayan against Ilog Mayor Paul Alvarez for a pending graft case against him will be implemented in the next few weeks.
Arles said the vice governor, father of the mayor, has said they had not receive a copy of the Sandigangbayan resolution on the suspension and that, perhaps, someone is lying.
“If someone is lying it is not from our camp,” said Arles, who showed the media copies of the Sandiganbayan resolution.
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has denied a motion for reconsideration of Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez and upheld its order for his 90-day suspension, along with eight others, in connection with a case for Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices pending against them.
The case was filed against Mayor Alvarez and eight others before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly unlawfully repairing and replacing the motor engine of a Mitsubishi Pajero service vehicle of the Ilog Department of Education.
The Ilog mayor could still file a motion for certiorari to the Sandiganbayan resolution before the Supreme Court, and seek a temporary restraining order, Arles said.
MOTIVE FOR MURDER
Arles said his family believes the case the Ilog mayor was suspended for is the reason why his father was murdered in Ilog town on April 24 last year .
The judge was suspected of helping Ilog Councilor Karem Gequillana, who was also murdered, of following up the graft case against the mayor, Arles said.
However, his father was not helping Gequillana in the case, Arles added.
The Ilog mayor and vice governor are among the respondents named in the complaint for the murder of Judge Arles pending before the Department of Justice.
Arles said they were informed that former Assistant State ProsecutorVimar Barcellano had submitted his resolution on his father’s murder case to Prosecutor General Claro Arellano for review late last year.
“We do not want to pressure the DOJ because we know they have a lot of cases before them, but as much as possible, we would want them to speed up the resolution,” Arles said.
When we filed the case, the DOJ gave a lot of attention to the case, but it does not seem to be doing so now, he said.
On April 24 it will be one year since his father was murdered and they hope some action is taken, Arles added.
His family is set to hold a mass at the site of his father’s murder in Ilog town on April 24, Arles said.
Arles said they will give the P2 million reward to those who provided information for the resolution of his father’s murder when the case if filed in court.
Arles, who claimed he has received numerous threats on his life, said there are no private armies in the Sixth District, there are hired guns used to terrorize people.
He, however, did not say who hired the goons but they are not from his camp.*CPG