Prominent Cebu lawyer killed in ambush

By Carine Asutilla, Joy Montero and Edgar Escalante, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas

Posted at Feb 18 2014 04:38 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2014 07:51 PM

MANILA -- A prominent lawyer who had handled high profile cases in Cebu died in an ambush on Tuesday afternoon in Dalaguete, Cebu.

Lawyer Noel Archival, brother of Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival, died on the spot. His escort Candido Meñoza was also killed.

Archival's driver, Alejandro Jaime was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Another escort, Paolo Cortez , was wounded.

Archival was with three other companions on board a vehicle when they were ambushed in Barangay Coro. The group came from a drug case hearing in Dumaguete City earlier that day.

Col. Renato Malazarte of Cebu Provincial Police Office said the assailants were on board a Toyota Hilux and another vehicle was used as back-up.

Judge Cresencio Tan Jr. of Dumaguete City RTC Branch 30 confirmed that Archival was at RTC Branch 38 in the sala of Judge Cenon Voltaire Repollo as the lawyer of Jesulou Alegria.

Alegria was accused of robbing a pawnshop in Dumaguete City. He was charged for robbery with violence or intimidation of person and unlawful possession of explosives.

Tan said the hearing was supposed to be continued on Wednesday, but Archival asked the court to move it on March 18. Archival needed to go back to Cebu to be able to go to Camiguin for another scheduled hearing Wednesday.

Archival was known for several big cases involving, drugs, abuses, and car smuggling among others.

He was one of the lawyers of alleged cult leader and former Dinagat Islands Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr.

He was also the lawyer of Councilor Gerry Carillo who was accused of mauling a son of a police officer. Archival also handled the case of Jovel Tan Entote, tagged as 'godfather of car theft syndicates'.

Supt. James Goforth, chief of Dumaguete Police, also confirmed that Archival was the lawyer of a certain Mark Lorenz Solon, an alleged big-time drug pusher.

Solon was arrested last December 2013 during a buy-bust operation. Confiscated from him were 30 grams of shabu, grenade, and vehicles.

Goforth believes the ambush is most probably related to his job, considering the high-profile cases that he had handled.