Archival brother ‘unfazed’ by death threats

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Monday, May 12, 2014


DEATH threats won’t stop the family of slain lawyer Noel Archival from their pursuit of justice.

“Dili man na makapatalaw nato (We will not back out despite the threats),” said Noel’s brother Nelson.

Nelson is a councilor of Barangay Talamban.

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“Naay text messages nga threatening with regards sa kaso... hunongon or else naay daotang mahitabo (There are threatening text messages regarding the case… they want us to withdraw or something bad will happen).”

He said Paolo Cortes, the lone survivor of the ambush that killed Noel, his aide Candido Miñoza and driver Alejandro Jayme in Dalaguete, Cebu last Feb. 18, also received threats.

Cortes is under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7.

No fingerpointing

Nelson, though, did not categorically say who he suspects to be the sender of the messages.

Although he did not have the threats recorded in the police blotter, he said he already told the NBI 7 about them.

“We were advised to be careful,” he said. “We have our safety measures. Ginoo na lay mahibawo. Buhaton namo ang angayng buhaton (We will leave it to God. We will do what we have to do).”

The NBI 7 filed multiple murder and frustrated murder complaints against Senior Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, former Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 director; Senior Supt. Joselito Lerion, HPG 7 Special Operations Team head; Chief Insp. Eduardo Mara, HPG provincial chief; SPO4 Edwin Galan, HPG 7 custodian; and PO1 Alex Bacani.

The HPG officials’ lawyer, Inocencio dela Cerna, refused to comment.

Satisfied

Nelson said the NBI is in the process of identifying the other suspects in his brother’s murder, adding that he is satisfied with the development.

“Padung gyod ta diha nga mailhan ang mga (We are getting to know the) John Does,” he said.

As to whether police are still looking for the three men sketched by an artist based on descriptions given by Cortes and other witnesses, Nelson said that is not an issue.

He said it does not mean they are the perpetrators.

“We are sure about those five suspects (HPG officials),” he said. “A sketch is only a sketch.”

Nelson also said he is against moving the preliminary investigation on the complaints against the HPG officials from the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office to the Department of Justice in Manila.

Dela Cerna filed the motion for the provincial prosecutor to inhibit, saying Attorney Archival’s brother, Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival, can influence the prosecutors’ decision.

Nelson denied this allegation, saying their family is not influential and they are “ordinary” residents in Cebu City.

“It is clear that they want to bring the case to Manila to discourage us from pursuing it because Manila is far,” he said. “Pero di na makapatalaw namo (But that won’t stop us).”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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