Reward mulled in Archival slay
Ria Mae Y. Booc, Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - February 28, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - With Noel Archival scheduled to be buried today, National Bureau of Investigation-7 Director Antonio Pagatpat said they are open to give a cash reward to anyone who could help solve the lawyer’s death and that of his two companions.

He said a cash reward would be a great help, as there may be those who have witnessed the ambush on Archival and his companions who have not yet approached the authorities.

Pagatpat, though, did not mention any amount and whether the NBI would be the one to shoulder it.

Archival would be laid to rest today at the Angelicum Garden of Angels Memorial Park in Canduman, Mandaue City, nine days after he was killed.

With his men comparing notes with police investigators, Pagatpat assured that witnesses can be protected through the Department of Justice’s protection program.

The NBI-7 is also conducting investigation into the case, and the eight-man team Pagatpat created started its job by joining a case briefing with the police last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Archival now has two other facial composites of the faces of persons believed to have been involved in the killing.

The police, though, did release the images pending validation.

“They are subject for validation kay amo pang gitan-aw ang ilang (because we are still verifying their) possible involvement.  Kay di mi (We would not) mu-divulge og (any) information nga makaguba sa (that would jeopardize the) investigation,” said Supt. Rodolfo Albotra, Provincial Intelligence Branch chief.

The police came up with the facial composites based on testimonies of witnesses aside from Paulo Cortez, the only survivor of the attack. 

Archival, along with Edu Miñoza, and Alejandro Jaime, died after their Ford Escape vehicle was sprayed with bullets by M16-rifle-wielding men onboard two separate Toyota Hi-Lux vehicles in Barangay Coro, Dalaguete, Cebu Tuesday last week.

Albotra, though, clarified that they are not concluding that the facial composites are the images of the actual gunmen.

“It does not mean nga mao na gyud (that they are the ones) but we are weighing it (the possibility) also. Rest assured nga tan-awn namo tanan (we would look at all angles),” the police official said.

The SITG Archival is looking into the robbery case handled by Archival in Dumaguete City prior to the killing as among the angles in its investigation.

The task group is still waiting for the official result from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory-7on its ballistic examination of the two M16 rifle slugs recovered at the crime scene.

Albotra said they decided to have the NBI team join them in their case conference because having more people looking into the case is a big help.

Pagatpat said the eight-man team, which includes a forensic expert, would be closely coordinating with the PNP.

“We will be conducting a parallel investigation. Though we will be having a separate investigation with the PNP, there is still a sharing of information with them…comparing notes with them,” he said in Tagalog.

Pagatpat said they are not setting a timeframe, but assured their investigation will be thorough.

He said the assailants appeared to be well-funded and the manner of execution was well organized. (FREEMAN)

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