Editorial: Twist in Archival slay probe

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Friday, March 28, 2014

WITH only a few clues dug up about the killing of lawyer Noel Archival and his two companions, some people actually expected the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Special Investigation Task Group Archival and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to eventually hit a blank wall in their probe.

But they seemed to have hit pay dirt with their search inside the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 compound. The discovery of a red vehicle believed to be among the four vehicles used in Archival group’s ambush in Barangay Corro, Dalaguete town provided more leads into the killing and ensured the investigation won’t screech to a halt.

Interestingly, the task group originally had as its member a representative of HPG 7, but Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Noel Gillamac admitted the probe body had to let go of the said police unit when the investigation headed towards its direction.

Sun.Star Cebu editorial cartoon on Atty. Noel Archival slaying
Editorial cartoon by Josua Cabrera of Sun.Star Cebu


This also means that, considering that HPG 7 belongs to the PNP organization, NBI, which is under the Department of Justice, has to take the lead in the investigation.

Which further shows the kind of influence the HPG 7 officials wield.

As expected, the Cebu City Council where Noel’s brother, Nestor Archival, is a member has expressed concern over this development. City Councilor Gerardo Carillo’s privilege speech calling on PNP Director-General Alan Purisima to put under camp restriction the four HPG 7 officers linked to the slay is meant to weaken their influence.

The public itself must monitor the developments in the investigation because of this worrisome twist. When law enforcers turn law violators, it gives all of us reason to be vigilant. Because who will stop this erring law enforcers from breaking our society’s fabric?

NBI 7 Director Max Salvador has clarified that this unit has not yet pinpointed the HPG 7 officials as suspects to the killing, saying that “(they) are still investigating the case.” That seems to be an admission that it has no solid proof yet to bring the case to court.

That does not take away the fact that the focus is on the HPG 7, a police unit that has its share of bad eggs. And it doesn’t subtract anything from the need for the public to continue to be vigilant and ensure that the real culprits in the killing of Archival and his companions will be prosecuted.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 29, 2014.


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