DOJ: 'We are not defying TRO on NBI Director's case'

February 15, 2012 11:12 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 15 – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday said that it did not defy the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) when the DOJ gave a go signal for the investigation against former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula.

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

DOJ Assistant Secretary Zabedin Azis said that the TRO by the lower court only covered the findings of the fact-finding panel.

"The complaint filed by (Noriyo) Ohara against Director Gatdula is not part of the TRO issued by the Manila RTC," Azis, a member of the DOJ fact-finding team told reporters on Wednesday.

Earlier, the DOJ created a panel of investigators to determine if there is enough basis to warrant the filing of criminal case against Gatdula.

Based on Office Order No. 106 dated Feb. 15, 2012, 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."

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

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, 2012 to determine if the TRO will be made permanent. (PNA)

RMA/PTR

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