Editorial: Chance to cleanse HPG ranks

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Monday, April 14, 2014

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 and Task Force Archival may have had difficulty solving the ambush-slay of lawyer Noel Archival and his two companions, but the “morsels” of evidence that they have gathered so far is pointing to some culprits: officers of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7.

The latest report is that the bullet shell from an M16 Armalite rifle found in a vehicle impounded by HPG 7 and which is said to be one of those used in the killing matched with those recovered at the crime scene in Dalaguete town.

Now, that’s another good development, although NBI 7 and the task force still need to get witnesses that would directly pinpoint to the HPG 7 officials, who are set to be charged for the killing, as perpetrators of the crime. But the pieces of circumstantial evidence are interesting.


Incidentally, officials from the Investigation and Management Division of the HPG in Camp Crame are looking into the administrative aspect of the case. Team members are not talking about their parallel probe so we do not know if it would lead to the establishing of guilt or exoneration of those suspected of being behind the killing.

Not given prominence, however, is the supposed motive of the said HPG officials in going after Archival. Reports earlier said that Archival handled the case of the owner of the impounded vehicle said to have been among those used in the ambush.

This means that Archival and the HPG officials did cross paths in the past. And that crossing of paths was not a cheerful one, with Archival filing a case with the Ombudsman against some HPG 7 officials and supposedly telling them that it was but one of the many cases he intended to file against them.

This point is important especially for HPG top officials because there have been reports in the past of shenanigans allegedly committed by its people. Indeed, the HPG is not lily-white in the eyes of the public and by vehicle owners, including foreigners, who claimed to have been victimized by the corrupt acts of some of its personnel.

Higher HPG officials should use the Archival case as an occasion to look deeper into these allegations and purge it organization of the corrupt. With the HPG doing so, Archival shall not have died in vain.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 15, 2014.


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