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Judge dismisses plea to quash search warrants

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol October 10,2014 - 07:49 AM

Executive Judge Soliver Peras of the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City has dismissed the plea to invalidate the search warrants issued against members of the Highway Patrol Group in Central Visayas (HPG-7) who were implicated in the ambush-slay of lawyer Noel Archival and his companions.

In his ruling, Peras said the petition filed by defense lawyer Inocencio De La Cerna Jr. “lacks merit.”

The judge believed that there was sufficient basis to issue a search warrant for agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to seize one of the vehicles that was purportedly used in the crime.

Peras said the red Toyota Vios at the HPG-7 impounding area was under the control of Senior Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, Senior Supt. Joselito Lerion, Chief Insp. Eduardo Mara, SPO4 Edwin Galan, and PO1 Alex Bacani.

De La Cerna, counsel of Lerion, earlier questioned the manner the NBI agents served the search warrant issued by Peras. For one, Dela Cerna said, the lone survivor of the attack, Paolo Cortes, identified one of the cars used in the ambush as having the plate number GSR-995.

However, the red Toyota Vios seized by the NBI bears the plate number GS- 675.

But the NBI explained the respondents allegedly changed the plate numbers of the vehicles.

Archival, along with his companions Candido Miñoza, Alejandro Jaime, and Cortes were ambushed inside their vehicle while traversing the national road in Dalaguete town, southern Cebu from a hearing in Dumaguete City in the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2014.

Only Cortes, Archival’s on-call assistant, survived the attack. Iglesia, Lerion, and Bacani are facing charges of mutiple and frustrated murder in court.

The charges against Mara and Galan were dismissed by the court for insufficiency of evidence.

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