By: Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – A relative of one of the arrested suspects in the assassination of Judge Henry Arles detained with the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila claimed that Eddie Fortunato was allegedly offered by a relative of the slain judge with P50,000 to turn witness in the case.
They were also allegedly threatened to cooperate with the National Bureau of Investigation, if not something will happen to them and their families.
This was revealed by Maribel Daguia, who visited her uncle Jessie Daguia and the two other suspects at the NBI detention in Manila Friday.
Maribel accused the NBI of preventing their lawyer, Atty. Honorata Victoria, from seeing his uncle, Fortunado and Alejandro Capunong but allowed Atty. Frank Britanico, Judge Arles’s brother-in-law, and Philip, son of the judge, in going in and out of the detention cell to see the three even during ungodly hours.
She said Britanico and Philip made the offer and the threat when they visited the three at their detention cell at the NBI last Friday.
Maribel said the three are also appealing to the media for help as they want to give statements on their own free will.
She added the three do not feel safe with the NBI anymore and feared that something will happen to them if they continue to be detained at the NBI, refuting claims by local NBI chief Atty. Ferdinand Lavin that it is for the security of the three why they were flown to Manila and kept there.
She added that Fortunado is being threatened and pressured to turn witness.
Maribel added that contrary to earlier claims by Lavin, the three did not turn state witness.
She said the three are constantly being “visited” by the Arleses and being pressured to turn witness.
She said the three will not turn witness because they do not know who killed the judge.
She added that her uncle said that if anything will happen to them it will be the doing of the Arleses.
Earlier in a press conference here, Britanico accused the families of the three not to muddle the issue.
He also declared that the only thing that can help the three is if they turn as witnesses.