Archival’s companion describes a suspicious-looking man in Dumaguete

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


PAULO Cortes, the lone survivor in the ambush that killed lawyer Noel Archival and two of his staff, told the police that he noticed a man observing them while they were still in court in Dumaguete City.

The police released a sketch of man who may be involved in the killing.

Supt. Renato Malazarte, spokesperson of Special Investigation Task Group Archival, said they have concluded that the attack against Archival was work-related.

He said the group is looking into a high-profile case that may provide leads on the assailants.

Talamban Barangay Councilor Nelson Archival said he is also convinced that the brutal killing of his brother was work-related.

Nelson declined to say more, adding that the Archival family trusts the police to find Noel’s killers.

Malazarte also declined to give more details.

CCTV

As of yesterday, the task force only got the video footage from a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera in Dalaguete, which showed that another vehicle may have been involved in the ambush, apart from the two four-wheel drive pickup trucks that Cortes spotted.

Cortes said he noticed the vehicles tailing them in Alcoy.

Malazarte said the plate numbers of the pickup trucks were not visible in the Dalaguete CCTV video. He added that the task force is waiting for other CCTV footage from other towns and establishments for more leads.

Once they get the plate numbers, they would coordinate with the Land Transportation Office 7 to look for the owners of the vehicles.

Cortes said he did not think more of the suspicious-looking man in Dumaguete City or the vehicles.

They were relaxing in the car with Archival reading a newspaper in the back seat with Cortes beside him.

Fire

Cortes said the vehicle tailing them tried to overtake Archival’s sports utility vehicle and one of its passengers rolled down the window and fired.

“Halos magtupad ilang sakyanan pagpusil. Klaro sad kaayo silang attorney kay dili man tinted (Their vehicles were almost side-by-side when the assailant fired. Archival and his companions were clearly visible because their vehicle’s windows had no tint),”
Malazarte said.

Police believed an M16 rifle was used in the ambush.

The task force said the vehicles used in the crime have not left Cebu because the police are monitoring all exit points, like wharves. The group has not received reports of abandoned vehicles.

Malazarte said the task force has requested for records of vehicles that left Sibulan, Negros Or. for Santander, Cebu around the same time Archival made the trip.

Fastcraft

According to GMA 7's Balitang Bisdak, Archival's group arrived at the Liloan wharf in Santander, Cebu at 7 a.m. last Tuesday and rode a fastcraft to Sibulan, Negros Or.

Tricycle driver Mario Lirasan told GMA 7 that Archival boarded his vehicle to the court. He said the lawyer hired him every time he was in Dumaguete. He got paid P1,000.

At 11 a.m., Archival left the court to go to Sibulan where he boarded a fast craft back to Santander.

Lirasan said he was shocked when he learned about the lawyer’s death. Members of the Archival family and some lawyers met yesterday to discuss updates of the case.

Nelson said they will consolidate their input and give whatever information they have to the police.

He said Noel’s children still have not realized what happened to their father. They keep asking: “Why is he not talking anymore? Why are his eyes closed?”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2014.

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