Parties in Archival case to fight fiscal’s findings
Ria Mae Y. Booc, Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - August 30, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Former officials of the Regional Highway Patrol Unit-7 tagged in the killing of lawyer Noel Archival will fight for the reversal of the prosecutors’ decision to charge them in court.

They are facing multiple murder and frustrated murder charges and have 15 days to file a motion for recommendation.

Lawyer Inocencio dela Cerna said they received a copy of the resolution of Deputy City Prosecutor Jesus Rodrigo Tagaan on Thursday.

Recommended to face charges in court are Senior Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, Senior Inspector Joselito Lerion and PO1 Alex Bacani.

The other RHPU personnel, Chief Insp. Eduardo Mara and SPO4 Edwin Galan, were dropped from the cases.

“Galan and Mara were elated and happy that they finally achieved justice due for them. However, you cannot assuage the sufferings that they have undergone not only for themselves but also for their families. Iglesia, Lerion and Bacani believed in our capacity and believed of their innocence,” Dela Cerna said.

Dela Cerna pointed out that because Galan and Mara have been cleared of liability, the alleged conspiracy among the RHPU personnel has been disproven precisely because it was Galan who was in charge of the impounded vehicle while Mara was chief of the impounding area.

The RHPU personnel were tagged as suspects after investigation revealed the vehicle used by the suspects in Archival’s death came from their impounding area.

In case their motion for reconsideration will be dismissed, Dela Cerna said their next option would be to file a petition for review. Should filing of the charges in court materialize, Dela Cerna said they will file a motion for judicial determination of probable cause and ask that his clients be allowed to post bail.

Lawyer Gloria Lastimosa Dalawampu, one of the lawyers of Archival's family, said they are happy with the findings but would still fight for Galan and Mara's inclusion in the cases. She stands by the allegation that the five conspired in killing Archival in Dalaguete town six months ago.

The dismissal of the charges against Mara and Galan, in effect, dismissed the administrative investigation against them.

In his resolution, Tagaan said that while probable cause exists in the cases against the RHPU personnel, the same is not a pronouncement of guilt but the allegations would need to stand in trial.

Tagaan ruled the other matters raised by the respondents in their counter-affidavits such as the questions on the validity of the implementation of the search warrant and the regularity of the conduct of laboratory and forensic examination are best tackled in court. —/JMO (FREEMAN)

ALEX BACANI CHIEF INSP DELA CERNA DEPUTY CITY PROSECUTOR JESUS RODRIGO TAGAAN EDUARDO MARA EDWIN GALAN GALAN AND MARA LAWYER GLORIA LASTIMOSA DALAWAMPU LAWYER INOCENCIO LERION AND BACANI MARA AND GALAN
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