Possible suspects: cops, military

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Friday, February 21, 2014


THE task force investigating the ambush-slay of lawyer Noel Archival and his companions is including highly-skilled criminals and members of police or military as possible suspects.

“All aspects are being looked into. We can’t discount this possibility,” said Supt. Renato Malazarte, spokesperson of Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Archival.

Questions have been raised if ordinary criminals of limited skills know how to use high-powered firearms, such as an M16 rifle.

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For Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Danilo Constantino, dragging the police and military into the case is “very unfair.”

“Criminals are also capable of executing a very thought-out crime,” he told reporters in a separate interview.

The ambush, Constantino said, was well-planned because the gunmen left minimal evidence at the crime scene.

He said they don’t want rush the investigation.

“We will expand the task force depending on our leads,” he said.

Constantino directed provincial and city police directors to intensify their campaign against loose firearms.

Getaway vehicle

Constantino wants a campaign against motorcycles without plate numbers.

Motorcycles are the usual getaway vehicles of criminals, he said.

“I see this incident as a challenge to police,” he said.

Yesterday, police released a facial composite of a man seen by Archival’s group to be following them in Dumaguete City where Archival was attending a hearing.

The man was described to be in his 30s, at least 5’3” tall and of medium build. He is fair-skinned, has a clean-cut hairstyle and has thick eyebrows.

Mobile phones

The task force also submitted the mobile phones of Archival and his companions to Anti-Cyber Crime Group (ACG) 7 for a digital forensic examination.

The investigation will check the text messages and calls the victims received before the killing.

Constantino said the investigation is 80 percent close to getting a lead.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2014.

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