By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The lawyer for the five suspects recently arrested in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental denied claims by police suggesting they are members of a private armed group.
Atty. Ariel Malunes, who is representing Armando Remotigue, Joel Condes, Julito Tanoco, Antonio Bularan, and Bernie Bantilan, released a statement yesterday claiming police are “unfairly tagging them as members of an armed group in relation to the killing of Charlie Boli-boli.”
He said the accusation “effectively crucifies them guilty through trial by publicity.”
The attorney also affirmed his clients “voluntarily surrendered” to police.
“They voluntarily surrendered upon my advice as their defense counsel,” he stated. “Not because they are guilty of the crime charged but for purposes of securing their lives.”
Bacolod City Criminal Investigation and Detection Group officer-in-charge, Police Chief Inspector Adelon Caacbay, also confirmed the suspects voluntarily surrendered after learning they had pending arrest warrants in their name.
Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office spokesperson, Police Chief Inspector Edison Garcia, earlier said the five are members of the Bacordo Group who are linked with the Boli-boli’s July 2017 killing.
The New People’s Army-Roselyn Pelle Command previously claimed responsibility for the murder.
Two months later, Don Salvador Benedicto Municipal Councilor Eden Bacordo and his two companions were killed by unidentified armed men in Barangay Lopez Jaena, Murcia, Negros Occidental./DGB, WDJ