PNP chief orders speedy solution to Archival slay
Ria Mae Y. Booc, Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - February 27, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 has been ordered by no less than Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Alan Purisima to speed up the investigation into the death of lawyer Noel Archival, who was gunned down along with two companions in southern Cebu last week.

Chief Supt. Augusto Marquez Jr., PRO-7 Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management executive officer, said Director General Purisima wants the case solved immediately.

This, as Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino, PRO-7 director, said he welcomes the entry of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-7, which Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival, brother of the slain lawyer, requested to help in the investigation.

"It is a welcome development for us.  We will provide them (NBI) the information and evidence gathered in the scene," Constantino said.

He said he will direct the head of Special Investigation Task Group Archival to coordinate with NBI-7 and compare notes just to solve the case.

On PNP Chief Purisima's order, Marquez said that while they were ordered to solve the killing fast, no time frame was set for them to do it.

"Part of the directive of the PNP Chief that we have to concentrate on the cases involving prosecutors, lawyers, journalists and the like, but it doesn't mean that 'yong (those of) ordinary people hindi bibigyan nang (are not given) attention," Marquez said during the Talakayan sa Isyung Pulis (TSIP) forum yesterday.

He said that while the ambush happened in Dalaguete, Cebu, the town police had to turn the case over to the task group. And as part of procedure, only the designated spokesperson, or the city or the provincial director is authorized to give updates in the investigation.

Archival, Edu Miñoza, and Alejandro Jaime were riding a Ford Escape SUV bound for Cebu City after a court hearing in Dumaguete City when ambushed and killed in Barangay Coro, Dalaguete last week. Paulo Cortes, who was with the three victims, was only hit in the arm and survived.

The SUV had 31 bullet holes and two M16 rifle bullet slugs were recovered from the crime scene.

Meanwhile, NBI-7 Director Antonio Pagatpat yesterday said they would "explore all angles" in also looking into Archival and his companions' deaths.

It was in response to the request of Councilor Archival that they help in identifying the assailants of his brother, Miñoza, and Jaime.

"Our objective is to resolve the case," he said, adding that they would be closely coordinating with the PNP in solving the case.

Considering that he created an eight-man team lead by lawyers Rennan Augustus Oliva and Jose Ermie Monsanto only last Tuesday, Pagatpat said his men have yet to start their investigation.

Archival was on his way to Cebu City after representing Jesuslou Elcarte Alegria, 42, an alleged mastermind of a pawnshop heist in Dumaguete last year, during a Regional Trial Court Branch 38 hearing when, upon reaching Dalaguete, unidentified gunmen onboard two vehicles got close and opened fire at them.

Meanwhile, Supt. Rex Derilo, the Regional Intelligence Division deputy chief, said they are monitoring the presence of robbery groups and guns-for-hire from Mindanao in Negros Oriental.

He said they are also looking at the possibility that the men have something to do with the killing of Archival and his companions.

"They are also capable of executing the crime, although their main target is to rob," Derilo said. — (FREEMAN)

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