Vice gov, vice mayor linked to murderBy Carla P. Gomez
BACOLOD CITY—A new witness has implicated Negros Occidental Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez Jr. and Cauayan Vice Mayor Jerry Tabujara in the murder of Kabankalan Regional Trial Court Judge Henry Arles.
The witness, who was identified only as “Honeybee” executed an affidavit, claiming that Rustom Puro, a ranking member of the RPA-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) and the husband of her cousin, told her that he and Marvin Salve were contracted by the group of the vice governor, his son Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez and Tabujara to assassinate Arles.
A copy of the affidavit was furnished the Inquirer by lawyer Frank Britanico, brother-in-law of Arles.
Honeybee said in a news conference on Tuesday that she decided to surface and seek protection because she was getting threats to her life from the RPA-ABB men involved in the crime.
Genaro and Tabujara denied the claims of Honeybee. John Paul has also denied having any part in the murder of Arles.
Alvarez said Honeybee’s claims were merely a “diversionary tactic” after the three RPA-ABB members, who had been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recanted their admissions that they took part in the murder of Arles.
John Paul is facing a murder complaint before the Department of Justice for Arles’ killing on April 24. Also charged with John Paul were his aide Emmanuel Medez, and five RPA-ABB members—Jessie Daguia, Alejandro Capunong and Eddie Fortunado, Salve and Gerald Tabujara.
Daguia, Capunong and Fortunado were detained at the NBI in Manila while Salve and Gerald remained at large. Gerald is the nephew of the Cauayan vice mayor.
In an affidavit, Honeybee claimed that on June 7, she overheard Puro telling Daguia and Capunong that they were not yet paid even if they had done their job already.
She quoted Puro as saying, “the body of Arles was already rotting but we had not been paid yet.”
Honeybee claimed that upon instructions of Puro, she picked up P500,000 in final payment for the alleged P1-million hit job from the mayor, who personally handed the money to her.
On June 8, she alleged that she was picked up from a mall in Kabankalan City by Medez who drove her to Crossing Bontalinao in Ilog.
Medez then sent a text message. After 10 minutes, a blue Toyota Fortuner with red plates arrived. The sports utility vehicle was driven by the mayor.
She said John Paul handed her a brown envelope and told her it contained P500,000. “I have no more obligation to you. Tell Rustom I’m fully paid for Arles. You could not even wait,” John Paul allegedly told Honeybee.
Medez then brought Honeybee to the Ceres terminal. She then delivered the money to the house of Puro, who was waiting with Daguia, Capunong, Fortunado, Salve and Tabujara, she added.
The vice governor and his son denied the allegations of Honeybee.
“The claims of Honeybee are a mere fairytale, it seems they are falsely implicating everybody at will. Who knows who will be next,” the vice governor said.
Vice Mayor Tabujara said implicating him was ridiculous since Arles was his friend whom he admired for giving fair decisions.
The vice mayor said he has a clean record and would never have someone killed.
“I was surprised to be implicated, maybe this is politically motivated,” he added.