NBI raids HPG-7, finds car used by Cebu lawyer’s killers

Cebu City – The investigation into the murder of a prominent Cebuano lawyer has heightened tension between law enforcement agencies as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 raided Thursday the compound of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) 7 in search for one of the suspect’s vehicles.

NBI agents, backed up by elements from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Cebu City Police Office, swooped down on the impounding area of the HPG 7, where one of the four vehicles used by the gunmen was found.

The raid was conducted on the strength of a search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Soliver Peras against Superintendent Romualdo Iglesia, HPG 7 chief; Senior Inspectors Eduardo Mara and Joselito Lerion; and SPO4 Edwin Galan.

Found and seized was one of the four vehicles identified in the search warrant – a red Toyota Corolla Vios with license plates GSC-675.

Senior Insp. Oliver Plania, HPG 7 Public Information Officer (PIO), said the HPG 7 officers named in the warrant “strongly denied any involvement” in the murder of lawyer Noel Archival, who was gunned down in Dalaguete town last month.

“We have nothing to do with the death of Attorney Archival but we are ready to answer any charges that may be filed against HPG 7,” said Plania.

Archival’s brothers, Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival and Talamban councilman Nelson Archival, said they were happy with the developments, but admitted the family of the lawyer is still grieving.

While the NBI 7 considered the HPG 7 officials as suspect in the Archival’s death, the Special Investigation Task Group said otherwise.

Group head Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac said that the search warrant implemented against the HPG officials does not necessarily make them suspects in the killing, but it is only part of the elimination process.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III yesterday urged the NBI and the task group to work hand in hand so that the case will be given immediate solution.

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