Gatdula files reply on opposition to suspend probe on kidnapping with ransom raps

April 2, 2012 11:00 pm 

MANILA, April 2 — Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula and some other former NBI officials filed on Monday before the Department of Justice (DOJ) their respective reply on the opposition filed by the camp of alleged kidnapping victim Noriyo Ohara, which sought to suspend the preliminary investigation on the kidnapping-with-ransom case against them.

Ohara, a Japanese national, was reported abducted in October 2011 and released upon the payment of P6 million out of the P15 million ransom money demanded allegedly by operatives of the NBI from her foster parents.

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

Gatdula and the other respondents anchored their reply, filed through their legal counsel, Atty. Nancy Ocampo, on the directive of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) stopping the DOJ and the NBI from conducting any investigation against the respondents.

On the other hand, Ohara on Monday filed her reply to the counter-affidavit filed by Virgilito Gutierrez, alias "Labski," which denied the accusation of Ohara that he was one of those responsible for her abduction.

After Ohara executed her sworn reply-affidavit, Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera set the next hearing of the case on April 13.

It can be recalled that some of the respondents in the alleged kidnapping with ransom case joined in the petition filed by Gatdula, which sought to suspend the proceedings of the case because they still have a pending petition before the Manila RTC against the creation by the DOJ of a panel of prosecutors for the conduct of a preliminary investigation on the case, including the recommendation of the DOJ fact-finding panel.

The respondents also would like that instead of the conduct of the hearing at the DOJ, it should be done at the Manila Prosecutor's Office. (PNA)

DCT/scs/PTR

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