Local News: 3 Suspects Eyed in Judge Arles’ Slay
Police has three suspects in the ambush-slay of Kabankalan Judge Henry Arles who was gunned down in Ilog town, Negros Occidental on April 24. Senior Superintendent Allan Guisihan, Negros Occidental police director, said witnesses saw three persons aboard a tricycle, including the driver, tailing the Nissan Sentra vehicle driven by Arles, which made a U-turn to the north direction after the shooting.
Guisihan said investigators believe that the three suspects including the gun man, and two persons - a man and a woman who were reportedly conducting surveillance on Arles at the Kabankalan RTC Branch 61 Building since 3 p.m. until he went out of the building last Tuesday, the day he was killed.
Police theorized that when Arles went out of the building, the two "lookouts" then rode a tricycle that was already waiting in the vicinity of the RTC building, and followed the victim, Guisihan said.
Arles, 62, succumbed to three gunshot wounds, when he was shot with a .45 caliber pistol by the gunman who fled using a tricycle, in Brgy. Manalad, Ilog.
Guisihan said the police have distributed the artist’s sketches of the two "lookouts" in the barangays of southern Negros Occidental so informants could tip them of any sightings of the suspects.
The two "lookouts" looked like they are living in far-flung areas,Guisihan said quoting a witness. He added that the police believe the suspects are still in Negros Occidental.
He said that the suspects may be hired killers and the primary motive of the killing was work-related.
This as Task Group Arles investigations show that the victim had no personal enemies who might have wanted him dead, he said.
Guisihan said he has not given a timetable to Task Group Arles to arrest the suspects to avoid "half-baked results" or arrest of "fall guys."
In a related development, Supreme Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez has announced on Friday that the high court is giving P100,000 reward for any information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects and another P100,000 upon conviction of the accused, Guisihan said.
The Arles family is also putting up a cash reward for the arrest of the suspects, although no specific amount was disclosed yet, he added.
Guisihan said he has two teams of police investigators: one team running after the two "spotters" of the assassins, and another team scrutinizing court records as well as controversial cases resolved by Arles.
The police will determine the last cases Arles handled as it might give a clue to the motive of his killing as well as the identity of the suspects, Guisihan said.
The National Bureau of Investigation also joined the Task Force Arles for the speedy resolution of the incident, he said.
President Benigno Aquino III had ordered Interior Secretary Jesse Roberto to investigate Arles’ slay. Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona and Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. had also ordered the police to arrest the suspects immediately.
Chief Superintendent Cipriano Querol Jr., Western Visayas police director, ordered Guisihan to hasten the investigation on Arles’ murder. Arles, who had received various awards as an efficient judge for disposing cases speedily, had served as Kab-ankalan RTC judge for 13 years. He was the first judge in Negros Occidental to be ambushed and killed, San-totome said.
Arles’ remains will be buried tomorrow, May 1, 9 a.m. at the Rolling Hills Memorial Park in Bacolod City.*