Opinion: Two Sides to a Question
An indictment does not necessarily mean that one is already guilty of a crime attributed to him or them.
Of course, the public reaction is something else. Normally, people formulate their opinions or conclusions based on the facts of the case as abducted by the prosecution.
But in a politically volatile climate that the present is, the popular vote based on their perception is another thing.
However, while we have succumbed to the claim that Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez is the mastermind of the killing of RTC Judge Henry Arles of Kabankalan City last April 24 in an Ilog Barangay. Still, there are certain questions that may be asked as to what were the circumstances behind the filing of the case against Alvarez et al.
The Ilog Mayor has declared in clear terms that he never knew of the allegations that he masterminded the killing of Arles.
He immediately declared yesterday that he just learned from media reports that the NBI had filed the murder case against him and the eight other alleged suspects in the killing of Judge Arles.
"Your conscience will bother you for dragging my name in the case. You know I am innocent," Alvarez declared yesterday before mediamen.
Besides, he pointed out that he had not fled the province as earlier claimed by quarters.
Unfortunately, he added, the NBI had never gone to Ilog to ask him about his side in the case, he lamented.
Normally, before a case is filed against a respondent, he first undergoes preliminary hearing by the justice department.
Instead, in his case, Mayor Alvarez said the information involving him and the eight others were filed with the Sandiganbayan without first the preliminary investigation.
Well, the NBI must be able to answer the claims by Mayor Alvarez. His father, Vice Governor Genaro Lim-ao Alvarez also claimed that politics was behind the inclusion of his son in the murder case.
Alvarez is vying to be the gubernatorial bet of the United Negros Alliance in the forthcoming elections of 2013. He has pitted himself against Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. who seems unfazed by the Alvarez challenge.
Thus, the case will not only affect Paul, who is believed to be running for another term, but will also affect the desire by Lim-ao to contest the UNA choice of Marañon as governor of the province.
The other suspects are Emannuel Medez, Gerard Tabujara, Marvin Salve, Vicente Capunong, Jesse Daquia, Eddie Fortunado, a Jane Doe and a John Doe.
Also affected by the case is Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (6th Dist.) who is believed to be running for reelection.
Definitely, whether we like it or not, it will become a grist for the forthcoming political contest.*