Evidence continues to mount against 5 ex-HPG 7 officials

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Saturday, May 24, 2014


CEBU Provincial Prosecutor Jane Petralba yesterday received from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 11 additional evidences against five former Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 officials implicated in the killing of lawyer Noel Archival and his two employees.

Asst. Provincial Prosecutor Petronio Elesterio said they decided to extend the period to resolve the complaint from 60 days to 75 days. That way they can accommodate the Department of Justice’s ruling on the defense’s request to transfer the case venue to Manila.

Elesterio is a member of the five-member panel of prosecutors tasked to probe the complaint.

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The NBI 7 charged Senior Insp. Joselito Lerion, former HPG 7 Special Operations Team chief; Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, former HPG 7 director; Chief Insp. Eduardo Mara, former HPG provincial chief; SPO4 Edwin Galan, former HPG 7 designated custodian; and PO1 Alex Bacani with multiple murder and frustrated murder before the Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor last April 15.

They’re accused of conspiring to ambush Archival, his aide Candido Miñoza and his driver Alejandro Jayme in Dalaguete last Feb. 18.

Guards’ affidavit

They denied the charges.

They were relieved from their posts and are temporarily assigned at the Personnel Holding Administrative Section in Camp Crame, while waiting for the results of the administrative inquiry against them.

The new evidences the NBI 7 submitted to the prosecutor’s office included the five-page logbook of a security personnel previously assigned at the HPG 7 impounding area in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

The NBI 7 also submitted the affidavits of two security guards and the “narration of facts” by lawyer Desterius John Ypanto on the confrontation between Archival and some HPG 7 policemen at the Mabolo Police Station on Oct. 10, 2013.

In their sworn affidavit, two security guards, who were assigned at the HPG 7 gate, said Mara took out an impounded black Toyota Hi-Lux pickup with plate number YGR-311 on Feb.17.

But Land Transportation Office 7 Director Arnel Tancinco certified that the vehicle’s plate number was issued to a red Mitsubishi Strada owned by certain Frederick Ruela.

The NBI 7 said it photographed the same black Toyota pickup at the HPG 7 impounding area.

“This shows that (Chief Insp. Eduardo) Mara and some HPG members have the propensity to switch, change or use plate numbers not belonging to the vehicle to hide, conceal their activities,” said NBI 7 Director Max Salvador.

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

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