HPG 7 officials snub summons

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Monday, March 24, 2014


THE four Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 officers, who were tagged as suspects in the killing of lawyer Noel Archival and his two aides, did not show up at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 yesterday.

Their lawyer, who asked not to be named, met with NBI 7 supervising agent Rennan Oliva instead.

The lawyer said he met Oliva to see the documents pertaining to the case and study these so that his clients can answer the allegations against them.

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The NBI 7 last Friday sent subpoenas to Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, HPG 7 chief; Chief Insp. Eduardo Mara, HPG 7 operations officer; Sr. Insp. Joselito Lerion; and SPO4 Edwin Galan, HPG 7 chief clerk.

The NBI 7 and the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Archival traced one of the vehicles that were allegedly involved in the Feb. 18 ambush against Archival to the HPG 7 impounding area.

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Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the HPG 7 should be dissolved if the officials are proven to be involved in the crime.

The mayor wants an inventory of all vehicles in the HPG 7 compound. He fears that some motorcycles used in crimes came from the HPG 7 impounding area.

Police Regional Office 7 Director Danilo Constantino said the latest development in the investigation on the killing of Archival and his two aides saddens him.

NBI 7 Director Max Salvador said they will file complaints against the suspects once they have all the evidence.

“When we file a case, it’s going to be airtight,” he said.

The HPG 7 officials’ lawyer said his clients prefer not to go to the NBI office and would rather answer the allegations in the form of affidavit or submit their counter-affidavit once the complaints are filed before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor's Office.

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Salvador said they cannot secure a hold departure order against the police officials because no complaints have been filed against them yet.

Constantino said that if investigators can link the HPG-impounded vehicle to Archival’s assailants, the case would be solved.

“Nakakalungkot na ang nagiging suspects ay some members of the PNP. Pero wala tayong magagawa kung doon talaga tutungo ang investigation natin (It’s sad that some members of the PNP have been named suspects. But there’s nothing we can do if the
investigation leads us there),” he said yesterday.

Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac, director of Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), said they will request to conduct ballistic examination on the firearms of all personnel of HPG 7.

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The SITG Archival, he said, is also coordinating with the Land Transportation Office 7 regarding the documents of the owner of the vehicle that was confiscated in the impounding area of HPG 7.

Gillamac, during the interview, revealed they excluded HPG 7 from the task force because they suspect the investigation would lead to the PNP operational unit.

In December 2013, Archival, representing his client Jovel Tan Entote, filed administrative and criminal complaints against 14 HPG 7 officials before the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (Moleo).

They were accused of dishonesty, grave misconduct and falsification of public document for allegedly trying to mislead a court in Cebu City regarding the license plate of a vehicle they impounded.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 25, 2014.

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