Judges remember slain lawyer as court jester

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


JUDGES are known to be strict while hearing cases.

But some of them could not help but smile when they heard the name of lawyer Noel Archival.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 13 Judge Meinrado Paredes is among those persons who could not forget Archival, 52.

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“Although serious ning court trial, pero malingaw gyod ta anang iyang mga questions.

Malingaw ta sa iyang pag-frame sa questions ug sa iyang Iningles (We were entertained by his questions, the way he framed his questions in English),” he said.

Paredes first met Archival when the latter was still a paralegal at Free Legal Assistance Group (Flag) Region 7.

“Mag-tsinelas ra na siya kaniadto (He just wore slippers before),” he said.

He also heard anecdotes about the lawyer from former judges.

Life and death

During a trial for a homicide case, Paredes was told that Archival’s fellow counsel asked the latter why he brought a birth certificate.

Death certificates are commonly presented in a proceeding involving homicide cases.

“Gisultian niya iyang kauban, ‘Naa bay tawong mamatay nga wa mabuhi (He told his partner, ‘Does anyone die without having lived’)?’” said Paredes.

Unidentified assailants shot and killed Archival in Dalaguete last Tuesday.

In another incident, Archival approached a judge who scolded him in Cebuano.

He then told the judge to reprimand hm in English so that his client would not understand, Paredes was told.

Entertainer

Another judge often introduced Archival with a statement: “...and now for the entertainment side.”

Paredes said he also asked a litigant how much the latter promised to give to Archival.

“He told his client, ‘Have you paid your lawyer?’” he said with a smile. “Naningil sa atubangan.”

Aside from Archival’s funny side, Paredes said the lawyer was always respectful whenever he overruled his objection.

“He would just say, ‘I submit,’” he said. “He was zealous in defending his clients.”

RTC Branch 8 Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul said he was shocked when he heard the news about the killing of Archival.

“Nobody should be the target of any form of violence,” he said.

He said he is familiar with the lawyer, who appeared in his sala once a month.

Archival was supposed to attend a hearing before Hadjirasul’s sala, which hears drug cases. It was postponed.

There are two cases handled by Archival pending before RTC Branch 13, a court staff said.

Hadjirasul admitted their jprofession is risky and they need to be careful.

“Some people are not familiar how criminal justice system works,” he said. “Sometimes if they can’t understand, they feel aggrieved.”

For Paredes, he hopes that justice will be served to the families of Archival and his aides in the ambush that happened in broad daylight.

“Di gyod ko ka-imagine kinsay mopatay aning klaseha ani nga tawo (I can’t imagine who would want to kill this kind of person),” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 20, 2014.

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