Suspension on cops implicated in Archival case ordered by Ombudsman
The Office of the Ombudsman has issued a preventive suspension order against the police officers who were implicated in the slay of Cebuano lawyer Noel Archival and his two companions.
Senior Supt. Romualdo Iglesia, Senior Insp. Joselito Lerion, and PO1 Alex Bacani all from the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) are to be suspended without pay while the anti-graft office resolves the administrative charges lodged against them.
The order signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales reads that the preventive suspension, however, must not exceed six months.
The anti-graft office also ordered the suspension of SPO4 Edwin Galan.
But according to SPO3 Lorenz Zamora of HPG 7, Galan has already resigned from the PNP.
Another policeman, Chief Inspector Eduardo Mara, had retired from government service after he was implicated in the crime.
Iglesia, Lerion, Bacani, Galan, and Mara were earlier tagged as suspects in the slay of Archival. The prosecutors’ office, however, dropped the charges against Galan and Mara for insufficient of evidence.
Iglesia, Lerion, and Bacani are facing charges of frustrated and multiple murder in court.
Judge Maximo Perez of the Regional Trial Court Branch 26 in Argao has issued an arrest warrant against the three policemen who remain at large.
The three policemen, who no longer reported to work after they were indicted by the prosecution office, were dropped from the rolls of the Philippine National Police.
In her order, graft investigation and prosecution officer Myra Zipagan said there are sufficient grounds to suspend the respondents pending investigation.
“Preventive suspension may be imposed at any time when there is reasonable ground to believe that the respondents have committed the act of acts complained of, when the evidence of culpability is strong,” Zipagan said.
Archival, along with his aides Candido Miñoza, Alejandro Jaime, and Paolo Cortes, were attacked while on their way to Cebu City from Dumaguete City on Feb. 18, 2014. Only Cortes survived.