Archival slay prober ‘had an axe to grind’

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol May 20,2014 - 07:54 AM

Officials of the regional office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-7)  allegedly had an axe to grind against a ranking officer of the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG)  him who was among those tagged in the slaying of Cebu  lawyer Noel Archival.

Senior Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, in his counter-affidavit, likewise insisted that he was in Cebu City  when the attack took place in Dalaguete town, south Cebu last Feb. 18.

Iglesia said one of the lead investigators in the case wants to get even with him.

He said the HPG in 2007 filed a disbarment case against NBI supervising agent Jose Ermie Monsanto for direct assault and obstruction of justice.

“It cannot be denied that Atty. Monsanto had an axe to grind against members of the HPG,” Iglesia said in his counter-affidavit  submitted yesterday  to the Cebu Provincial Prosecutors’ Office.

“The NBI-7 is engaged in a fishing expedition to put in a bad light, not only my reputation, but also that of my co-respondents and the reputation of the Regional Highway Patrol Unit,” he added.

Cebu Daily News tried to reach Monsanto for comment but through NBI-7 supervising agent Rennan Augustus Oliva but he was not available.

“What he (Iglesia) said about Atty. Monsanto had nothing to do with the case. He’s not answering the issue head on,” said Oliva, team leader in the Archival slay investigation.

Democrito Barcenas, one of the lawyers  of the Archival family, said he know Monsanto was neither biased nor corrupt.

The NBI earlier filed charges of multiple and frustrated murder against Iglesia,  Senior Insp. Joselito Lerion, Senior Insp. Eduardo Mara, SPO4 Edwin Galan, and PO1 Alex Bacani for the fatal shooting of Archival and his companions.

Iglesia was the regional director of the HPG-7.

He said the allegations against him were “without factual and legal basis” and a “product of haphazard and biased investigation.”

He presented testimonies  and documents  to prove that he was  in Cebu City when Archival and his companions were ambushed in barangay Coro, Dalaguete.

He described where  he was the day Archival was killed, from the time he woke up to  his stay at the office  until late in the afternoon.

The usual travel time from Cebu City to Dalaguete would take more than two hours, he said.

He said it would be difficult for him to be in Dalaguete town at around 1 p.m./ with UP Cebu Intern Gerriane Rizon


More stories:

Archival, aides killed in ambush

NBI finds red car used by Archival’s killers parked in compound of Highway Patrol Group

Panel of 5 named for Archival case

Crame relieves HPG men in Archival slay

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TAGS: Archival ambush, Cebu, crime, killed, lawyer, Noel Archival

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