Security for victims’ families eyed

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


THE task force investigating the ambush-slay of lawyer Noel Archival and his companions may provide security to the victims’ families, after receiving a report of a suspicious-looking man reportedly frequenting the wake of one of the victims.

Emily, the wife of Candido Miñoza, told Sun.Star Cebu that a man riding a motorcycle has been frequenting at the wake of her husband in Barangay San Jose, Cebu City.

It could just be a motorcycle-for-hire driver, which is the most common means of transportation in the area, but Emily said she couldn’t discount the possibility that someone’s monitoring them.

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Candido’s 53-year-old twin brother, Paciano, also shared the same concern when the news team visited the wake.

The family said they will raise their concern to the authorities after Candido will be laid to rest on Friday.

Supt. Renato Malazarte, spokesperson of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Archival, said they wouldn’t take the victims’ families concern for granted.

“We will assess the situation first. If there’s a need for it, we could deploy police personnel in the area,” he said.

Though they are not the target of the ambush, Malazarte said they wouldn’t take any chances.

As of yesterday, the police are locating one of the vehicles used in the ambush after they got a tip.

“This is what we are tracing if this is the same vehicle used in the crime,” Malazarte said, though he didn’t specify if it was the pickup truck or the sedan.

Malazarte also said they acquired another footage from a closed-circuit television camera, but he declined to elaborate on the information so as not to hamper the investigation.

The Free Legal Assistance Group (Flag) 7 urged the police not to arrest persons who are not involved in the murder of Noel and his two companions.

“We exhort the police to have speedy investigation of the crime without resorting to having fall guys to please the public,” said Flag 7 chairperson Democrito Barcenas.

Flag 7, which gave free legal services to poor people, condemned Noel’s brutal murder.

Noel, who started his career as a lawyer in 1991, was killed on the national highway in Barangay Coro, Dalaguete last Feb. 18.

He attended a court hearing in Dumaguete City before he was killed along with his two aides, Candido and Alejandro Jayme.

The legal community, through the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City chapter, also condemned the attack.

Dennis Abarientos, secretary-general of Karapatan-Central Visayas, said freed political activists offered a tribute to the slain lawyer in his wake at St. Peter Memorial Chapel on New Imus Road, Cebu City last Saturday.

Meanwhile, the eldest brother of Noel yesterday said their family has not yet decided whether to tap the services of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to help in the investigation.

Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival said they are so far satisfied with the investigation handled by the police.

The councilor said he had a meeting with Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Noel Gillamac about the case and that he is satisfied with the handling of the investigation.

“They are doing their best to solve this,” he added.

Like his brother Engr. Nelson Archival, the councilor said that his family would welcome the possible entry of the NBI.

As for the updates on his brother’s wake, Nestor yesterday said Noel will stay at St. Peter Memorial Chapel until Feb. 25.

By Wednesday noon, Nestor said the remains of his brother will be brought to their home in Barangay Talamban. The wake will be held at their house until Thursday.

Nestor said his brother will be buried by Friday noon at the Angelicum Garden of Angels in Barangay Canduman, Mandaue City.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2014.

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