Noriyo Ohara, the 32-year-old Japanese woman whom some agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) abducted from her foster family’s home in Bugallon, Pangasinan province, is now in the custody of the Bureau of Immigration.
When I tried to talk to her Wednesday, she seemed to be in a state of extreme shock.
She didn’t want to talk to members of her foster family who were with me when I went to the immigration bureau detention center in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
I suspect she was either thoroughly brainwashed by her NBI captors or is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, a situation where a kidnap or hostage victim sympathizes with one’s captors.
If I may suggest, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who ordered the NBI to turn over Ohara to the immigration bureau, should have her undergo a medico-legal examination to determine whether she was physically abused.
Most female kidnap victims get afflicted with the Stockholm Syndrome after they have been abused by their kidnappers.
Ohara was detained by the NBI for one month and eight days before the immigration bureau took her under its wing last Tuesday.
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For the benefit of those who haven’t read my two previous columns, Ohara is an undocumented alien who came to the Philippines in 2009 to escape from the Yakuza that had killed her father and that was now after her.
Ohara didn’t pass through the immigration counter at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport because she was picked up planeside by an immigration employee and whisked out of the terminal building.
She was living in Pangasinan and had even assumed a Filipino name—Marife Laganas—when NBI agents arrested her on October 29.
The NBI detained her at the security management division (SMD), but she would be slipped out and taken to a safehouse in Tondo, Manila.
Ohara’s foster family raised P6 million of the P15 million the NBI agents allegedly demanded for her release.
When her foster family sensed that the NBI would not release Ohara even if they would be able to pay the remainder of the ransom, they sought my help.
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Secretary De Lima has formed a three-member fact-finding team headed by Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan to look into Ohara’s reported abduction.
For starters, the team should investigate NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula who allowed Ohara’s detention.
When Ohara was taken to the SMD office at the ground floor of the NBI headquarters, Gatdula reportedly came down from his office on the fifth floor to take a look at the Japanese woman.
What surprised many NBI oldtimers is that Gatdula allowed SMD boys to arrest Ohara when they are not line agents.
The SMD, composed of low-ranking employees of the bureau, is in charge of securing the NBI premises and guarding detainees.
Gatdula, who is a lawyer, knows that Ohara is an undocumented alien, and arresting illegal aliens is not the job of the NBI but that of the immigration bureau.
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One of Ohara’s captors, who goes by the nickname Labsky and whose real name is Virgilio Gutierrez, is one of Gatdula’s close aides.
Labsky and Chona Espina, an NBI gofer, allegedly received P6 million from Ohara’s foster family.
When Ohara was not at the SMD office, she would be taken to Espina’s house in Tondo to sleep.
The SMD chief, Mario Garcia, and his executive officer, Jose Odellon Cabillan, have been sacked by Gatdula. The NBI chief does not have the moral authority to sack Garcia and Cabillan since they probably received orders regarding Ohara from him.