Archival ambush-slay case: Latest move of defense a ‘delay tactic’

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Sunday, June 1, 2014


THE defense in the ambush-slay of lawyer Noel Archival and his staffers is asking government prosecutors to back off from investigating the case.

Atty. Ryan Gabuya filed a motion for inhibition last Friday against the five-member panel of prosecutors tasked to conduct a preliminary investigation on the multiple murder and frustrated murder complaint against the five former Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 officials.

The five former HPG 7 officials are 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.

But prosecution lawyer Democrito Barcenas yesterday described the motion as “nonsense,” saying it’s meant “to delay the murder case and derail the administration of justice.”

“(Motion) is based on imagined fears or deliberate falsehoods. How can an ordinary city councilor influence five assistant prosecutors who are under the DOJ (Department of Justice) and not under the City Government?” asked Barcenas.

Gabuya cited the same argument that was in a letter-request earlier sent to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima requesting her to direct the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office to inhibit from the case.

‘No legal ground’

In that letter, the five policemen said they are afraid Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival, brother of the slain lawyer, might influence prosecutors.

The five policemen, who denied the charges, are temporarily assigned at the Personnel Holding Administrative Section in Camp Crame.

Barcenas and prosecution lawyer Gloria Lastimosa-Dalawampu, along with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City chapter and the Free Legal Assistance Group 6, also opposed the move to transfer the preliminary investigation of the case to the DOJ in Manila.

Meanwhile, Dalawampu said she has not yet received a copy of the defense’s latest motion. But she said the pleading is just a “rehash” of the defense’s motion to transfer the case venue to Manila.

“There is no legal ground for the inhibition of the Cebu prosecutors,” she said.

Archival, his aide Candido Miñoza and his driver Alejandro Jayme were killed in an ambush in the southern town of Dalaguete last February 18. (GMD)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 01, 2014.

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