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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, January 7, 2013
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NBI frees suspect in
murder of judge

The National Bureau of Investigation head office in Metro Manila released a member of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade, who is a suspect in the murder of Judge Henry Arles, from its custody Friday night.

The release of Eddie Fortunado of Barangay Tampalon, Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental, was in compliance with an order of Bacolod Regional Trial Court Branch 42 Judge Fernando Elumba.

Fortunado is expected to return to Negros Occidental this week after we can source the fare needed, Alan Gozon, Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, said yesterday.

Fortunado’s mother, Tess Fortunado, had filed a petition for the issuance of a Writ of Amparo and asked the court to order NBI director Nonnatus Caesar Rojas, NBI Bacolod chief Ferdinand Lavin, and agents Cyrus Alusan and Modesto Orestes Cajita to produce her son, and to explain why he is being deprived of his liberty, and tortured.

In his order dated December 26, Elumba said the case at bar does not fall within the sphere of the privilege of the Writ of Amparo, but there is no legal basis for the continued confinement of Fortunado.

Fortunado is one of the accused in a complaint pending before the Department of Justice for the murder of Arles in Ilog town on April 24, 2012.

No case has been filed against him in court yet and there is no legal basis for his detention, his lawyer, Romeo Subaldo, had said earlier.*CPG

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