Cebu News

Judge: Archival’s death shocking, reminder for them to be vigilant

Niña S. Abenoja and Mylen P. Manto - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - For Regional Trial Court Branch 8 Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul, lawyer Noel Archival’s death came as a shock and carries with it a warning for them to be always on guard, especially that they currently hold court in the open.

Hadjirasul, Palace of Justice head of security, said news on Archival’s violent demise came as a surprise, as he regularly saw  the lawyer every month.

He said Archival appeared before his sala at least once a month representing drugs cases clients.  In fact, the judge said, Archival has a scheduled hearing before his sala yesterday, but it was cancelled due to the incident.

Hadjirasul said that although they had always been vigilant, the attack was another grim reminder that security should be given utmost attention, especially that judges and other judiciary workers still hold office at the grounds of the Palace of Justice, which was deemed unfit for occupancy after the Oct. 15 earthquake.

Meanwhile, the Cebu City Council where Archival’s brother, Nestor, is a member, approved en masse yesterday a resolution that “strongly condemns the brutal killing.”

The measure, authored by City Councilor Gerard Carillo, urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct a “no-nonsense investigation” on the lawyer’s death.

In a privilege speech during the council’s regular session yesterday, Carillo exhorted the slain lawyer, whom he said that although impassioned in defending clients, was really tame as a “lamb attending to the needs of his family.”

“Lawyers like Noel are often misunderstood. Our passion to represent our clients often earns the ire of the adverse party,” said Carillo, also a lawyer.

Carillo believed that Archival’s murder was work-related.

“Dili man gud ‘to siya burukinto na pagka-abogado (He was not one who looks for trouble). He cracks jokes in the courtroom, but mu-argue sad (also),” the councilor said.

Mayor Michael Rama, on the other hand, also called the killing a “condemnable act.”

“Treacherous in a way; an utmost (act of) cowardice,” the mayor said on his fellow lawyer’s death.

Also, lawyer Mae Elaine Bathan, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Cebu City Chapter president, told the media yesterday that she already informed IBP national president and chairman of the board Vicente M. Joyas on what happened.

She said the IBP national office would give P20,000 in financial assistance to Archival’s family while the IBP-Cebu Province Chapter would give a counterpart amount.

Bathan likewise said the incident was alarming. She said that in accepting a case, there is already a risk involved for lawyers; that is why they need to assess before accepting a case.

She said, though, that having known Archival, the slain lawyer’s love for his profession always had him accept whoever needed his service.

“Dili siya mobalibad and dili siya mo choose og (He never refuse and was not picky on his) clients; and he was ready to serve to the best of his ability,” she said.

Bathan said IBP-Cebu City is set to issue a resolution requesting the PNP to create a task force to expedite the investigation.

“We need to know the motive,” she said.—/RHM (FREEMAN)











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