Despite TRO, DOJ orders probe on ex-NBI Director's case

February 15, 2012 11:12 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 15 — Despite a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC), the Department of Justice (DOJ) has created a panel of investigators to determine if there is enough basis to warrant the filing of a criminal case against dismissed National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula.

The NBI, which is the Philippines' premier investigating body, is an attached agency of the DOJ.

Based on Office Order No. 106 dated Feb. 15, 2012, DOJ Prosecutor General Claro Arellano designated Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Hazel Decena-Valdez and Irwin Maraya to "handle the preliminary investigation and if the evidence warrants, file the corresponding information/s before the appropriate court."

In her complaint filed before the DOJ, Noriyo Ohara accused Gatdula, Mario Garcia, special investigator and former chief of the NBI-Security Management Division (NBI-SMD); security volunteer Jay Ducusin; Raul Dimaano, special assistant of Gatdula and Jose Odelon Cabillan, special investigator and former executive officer of the NBI-SMD and several John and Jane Does of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

Likewise, Ohara also accused Garcia, NBI asset Chona Elen Esplana for grave coercion, falsification and robbery while Cabillan was also accused of falsification and security volunteer Virgelito Gutierrez also for robbery.

"This order takes effect immediately and shall remain in force until further orders," Arellano said.

Gatdula has a pending petition before the Manila RTC where he questioned the investigation conducted against him by the DOJ.

The RTC stopped the DOJ from proceeding with the investigation on the alleged involvement of Gatdula on the abduction and extortion of Japanese national Noriyo Ohara.

The TRO will lapse on Feb. 20, 2012 and a hearing will be conducted by the Manila RTC on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2102 to determine if the TRO will be made permanent.

Gatdula filed an urgent petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Manila RTC after he was dismissed as NBI director and was recommended to be subjected to a preliminary investigation for kidnapping and serious illegal detention. (PNA)

DCT/PTR

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