IBP condemns killing of Ecleo lawyer in Cebu
CEBU CITY—The head of the city chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has condemned the killing of a lawyer who rose to prominence here for handling controversial cases, including that of fugitive cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. and a suspected car theft ring leader in Manila.
Lawyer Mae Elaine Bathan, president of the IBP Cebu City chapter, urged authorities to quickly investigate and solve the killing of lawyer Noel Archival, his driver and aide on Tuesday.
Bathan said she believed Archival’s killing was job-related.
Archival was ambushed in Dalaguete town, some 85.1 kilometers south of the city, by still unidentified men who were riding in two pickups.
Archival and an aide, Candido Minoza, died on the spot. The third victim, Archival’s driver Alejandro Jayme, died in a hospital after the attack.
Police said Archival was riding in his Ford Escape sport utility vehicle (SUV) when two Toyota Hi-Lux pickups came. One of the pickups overtook and blocked Archival’s SUV. The driver of the second pickup drove alongside Archival’s SUV and unidentified men emerged, firing repeatedly at Archival.
Investigators found 31 bullet holes on Archival’s SUV. Police said the gunmen used M-16 assault rifles.
Archival became known in the city for serving as legal counsel of controversial personalities, including Ecleo, who has been convicted of parricide for killing his wife in 2002. Archival was also legal counsel of Jovel Tan Entote, who was described by police as the “godfather of car theft syndicates” in the country. Entote has been cleared by a regional trial court in Quezon City.
Police said Archival was seated in the back of his SUV during the attack and was killed instantly. Another aide, Paulo Cortes, 53, was wounded and is now in stable condition at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center here.
Archival, according to investigators, was headed back to this city after attending a case hearing in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental province.
According to Senior Insp. Rico Emperwa, Dalaguete police chief, Archival and his companions arrived at about 1 p.m. at the ferry port in Santander town from Dumaguete.
Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival, the slain lawyer’s elder brother, said he was unaware of any threats to his brother’s life but knew that his brother took risks in his work.