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NBI files criminal charges vs Gatdula, 12 others

June 29, 2012 5:43am
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recommended the filing of criminal complaints against its sacked former director Magtanggol Gatdula and 12 other individuals linked to the February ambush of its deputy director Reynaldo Esmeralda.
 
Among the complaints lodged against Gatdula and the other individuals were frustrated murder, treachery, and possession of illegal firearms.
 
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima revealed the results of the NBI investigation was revealed to the media. The NBI is an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
 
De Lima said the complaints were filed before the DOJ's National Prosecution Services by Esmeralda and his brother P03 Nilo Esmeralda.
 
Apart from Gatdula, other people charged were alleged mastermind Tyron Ong; Perfecto Villanueva, a retired police officer said to have close ties with Ong; alleged gunman Teodoro Avendano, Geryry Farillon, Jose Maglalang, Gino Eustaquio, supposed lookouts Aljun and Alvin Monteclaros, and a certain "Alfred," among others.
 
Gatdula camp response
 
Gatdula's lawyer, Abraham Espejo, slammed De Lima for revealing the results of the NBI investigation in a press conference.
 
"As usual, Sec. De Lima uses a presscon to destroy the name of my client. Is that fair? They want Gatdula to be tried by publicity," said Espejo. The lawyer said their camp has yet to receive a copy of the NBI findings.
 
Gatdula's lawyer suspected that De Lima resorted to a "publicity stunt for election purposes." De Lima was earlier rumored to be planning to secure a seat at the Senate in next year's midterm elections.
 
Espejo claimed that the Philippine National Police had already investigated the ambush incident earlier and came up with a "different finding."
 
Esmeralda, who survived the ambush, had said the attack on him could be connected to the case that DOJ recommended against Gatdula for the alleged kidnapping and extortion of P6 million from Japanese national Noriyo Ohara last year.
 
Following that incident, Gatdula, the highest NBI official at the time, was sacked. He has denied involvement in the kidnapping-extortion controversy, as well as in the attack on Esmeralda. Instead, he turned the tables and blamed Esmeralda and De Lima for the threats he said he has been receiving.
 
Gatdula was earlier able to secure a writ of amparo from a Manila court after alleging that there was a threat to his life coming from De Lima as well as other NBI and DOJ officials. He also got a go signal from the Manila court to conduct his own investigation on the ambush.
 
Gatdula's camp however had failed to inspect the interior of the vehicle after De Lima and Assistant Solicitor General Amparo Cabotaje-Tang stepped in and prevented them from doing so. — ELR, GMA News
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