Police counting on artist’s help in Archival case

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Sunday, May 4, 2014


A CARTOGRAPHER helps the police arrest a criminal by sketching the culprit’s face based on descriptions given to him by witnesses.

Elmer “Spider” Herrera is no stranger to the job.

After the ambush-slay of lawyer Noel Archival and two companions in Dalaguete last Feb. 18, the Cebu Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) hired Herrera’s services.

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Herrera, in his affidavit, said he made three sketches of men who may be involved in the killing of Archival and his companions.

He said none of his sketches resembled the faces of five Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 officials, who were named respondents in the multiple murder and frustrated murder complaints.

The HPG 7 officials are Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, Chief Insp. Eduardo Mara, Senior Insp. Joselito Lerion, SPO4 Edwin Galan, and PO1 Alex Bacani.

Their lawyer Inocencio de la Cerna said he is wondering if the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Archival has stopped pursuing the men portrayed in the sketches after the filing of the complaints.

Herrera said he made his first sketch based on the description of the incident’s lone survivor, Paolo Cortes.

A few days after, he made another sketch of the passengers of the gray pick-up type vehicle used by the assailants based on the account of a carwash owner in Cebu City.

“I sketched the face of the passenger seated at the back of the pick-up as described by the owner, Jake, wearing sunglasses, a ball cap and stripe sweat shirt,” said Herrera.

He said Jake noticed the man had high cheekbones, an earring in his left ear, a missing tooth and a birth mark on his right hand.

Supt. Rodolfo Albotra, PIB chief, sent Herrera to Dalaguete Police Station to make another sketch of a suspect described by another witness, a habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) driver, who saw the driver of a gray pick-up type vehicle and the passenger in the backseat.

The driver, the witness said, asked which way was to Dalaguete. His description of the passenger matched that of the carwash boy in Cebu City.

“I discontinued making a cartographic sketch after the habal-habal driver described the same face who was seen by Mr. Cortes at the courtroom of Dumaguete RTC (Regional Trial Court) and the one who drove the silver gray pick-up,” said Herrera.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 05, 2014.

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