Speculations on Noel’s slay

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

THEORIES and speculations have surfaced on the possible motives in the brutal slay of Noel Archival and his two aides.

Some of these speculations are somewhat unfair to the slain lawyer who was the target of that well-funded, well-planned and well-executed operation.

His aide Candido Minoza and his driver Alejandro Jayme, who died with him, were just victims of circumstance. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Speculations that it was the handiwork of the Kuratong Beleng gang, which was supposedly shortchanged by the lawyer; that the Ruben Ecleo case had something to do with it; that government agents did it because Noel was lawyering for criminals and drug pushers; and that Noel’s alleged land grabbing activity had something to do with it are unfair to Noel because he can no longer defend himself.

Even if Noel can talk today, he cannot pinpoint who the attackers were because of the many controversial cases that he handled. So why won't we wait for authorities to establish the motive behind the killing, unmask the mastermind and the assailants and bring them to justice?


Archival was known as “Gaga” in Talamban where he grew up. Friends describe him as generous. He extended financial help to people who would approach him.

He gave P1,000 to the tricycle driver he hired from the port of Sibulan in Negros Oriental to Dumagute City when he attended a hearing prior to his ambush. He also gave money to his client who is detained in Dumaguete for a robbery case.

For some people, Noel was a hero.


The stories I shared with you in my column last Wednesday were based on my personal encounter with Noel. There are more anecdotes I can share as relayed by some of Noel’s friends. He was gutsy, witty and jolly. He can crack jokes even in serious moments, like during court hearings. He can make a strict judge laugh with his antics.

In a hearing, the judge asked the prosecution and the defense if they are ready. The prosecution lawyer said, “Ready, your honor.” Noel, who was with the defense, said;

“Ready your honor since yesterday.” The judge asked, “Why since yesterday?” Noel answered: “Because I already received my appearance fee yesterday, your honor.”

A fellow lawyer confronted Noel because of a case he filed against the lawyer's client. The lawyer said, “Nyor, pataka ra man kag kiha sa akong client nga wala man kay cause of action.” Noel got a bundle of money from his pocket and showed it to the lawyer. “Kini diay, dili diay ni cause of action?”

Noel was scolded by a judge in Cebuano. He approached the judge and said: “Your honor, will you please scold me in English so that my client won’t understand it?”


Right after Noel’s ambush, GMA 7 Balitang Bisdak sent a news team to the crime scene.

Using the digital mobile news gathering (DMNG) facility, GMA 7 was the only local newscast that went on live broadcast direct from the crime scene. Viewers saw live how the police conducted their investigation. A foreigner who saw this commented:

“Just watched your news on TV and got the sad story about Atty. Archival. You are one of the few journalists in Cebu who asked the right critical questions.

“I would like you to take a look at the crime scene. In most countries around the world, the police would secure the parameter of the crime scene.

Here, we can see that the crime scene was open for everybody who may trample with any piece of evidence that might have been left behind.

“Doesn't Soco/police in the Philippines get any training on how to handle a crime scene? It was really below any standard.

“For me, this would be worth looking into. Sorry for staying as Mr. X. I’m a foreigner and can’t afford to reveal my identity.”


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2014.


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