Arrest invalid: suspects in lawyer’s slay

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

THE officials of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in Central Visayas yesterday asked the court to declare as invalid the search warrant, which authorities used to seize a car believed to have been used in the killing of lawyer Noel Archival and his two staff members.

Inocencio dela Cerna, counsel for the four policemen, filed a motion to quash the search warrant Judge Soliver Peras had issued.

Dela Cerna said there was no basis for the issuance of the warrant due to lack of probable cause to involve his clients.


Archival, his aide Candido Miñoza and his driver Alejandro Jayme, were ambushed in Dalaguete town last Feb. 18.

The four HPG-7 officials were tagged as suspects after a joint operation by the NBI-7 and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and the Special Weapons and Tactics in Cebu City traced one vehicle, allegedly used in the shooting, to the HPG impounding area in Barangay Lahug.

The police officials are Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, HPG-7 Director; Chief Insp. Eduardo Mara, HPG-7 Deputy Regional Chief; Sr. Insp. Joselito Lerion, HPG-7 Special Operations Team Head; and SPO4 Edwin Galan, HPG-7 Chief Clerk.

Authorities seized a red Toyota Vios (GSC, 675) and found a police commemorative plate and a court pleading filed by Archival.

No documents yet

Dela Cerna, when interviewed by reporters after he filed the pleading, said they were not furnished the documents supporting the search warrant.

There was also no “clear evidence” linking the policemen to the ambush-slay, the lawyer said.

“There were no affidavits issued. What they (NBI operatives) got was merely a red car,” said dela Cerna.

With the filing of the search warrant, dela Cerna hopes that investigators will find the real perpetrators.

Likewise, dela Cerna asked Judge Peras to furnish them with the evidence supporting the issuance of the search warrant.

Dela Cerna asked the NBI 7 to clear his clients, whom he said are being subjected to “public ridicule and judgment.”

“If they (BI-7) only indicate HPG-7 as the respondent, and not naming particular persons, then there was no problem,” he said.

Task force

Dela Cerna lamented the part of the search warrant that states, “murder may have been committed” by the policemen.

The lawyer clarified his clients are still reporting for work.

In fact, he said the policemen are open for ballistic examination of their firearms, or submit to lie detector test to prove their innocence.

“We are calling the task force to conduct a deeper investigation on the case,” the lawyer said.

NBI-7 Chief Max Salvador begged off from issuing statement until he receives a copy of the quash motion.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 04, 2014.

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