MANILA, Philippines—Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula on Monday filed a petition for a writ of amparo against Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and two others in connection with the alleged “ambush me” incident of NBI Deputy Director Reynaldo Esmeralda.
In a 14-page petition, Gatdula asked the Manila Regional Trial Court to issue a writ of amparo ordering De Lima, NBI officer-in-charge Nonnatus Rojas and Esmeralda to “cease and desist from further threatening the life, liberty and security of petitioner and his family” and to restrain respondents from “framing up petitioner for the fake ambush incident by filing bogus charges of frustrated murder” against him.
Gatdula also asked the Manila Court to issue a temporary protection order for him and to order the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the NBI to produce the medical and ballistic reports and other documents related to the ambush incident of Esmeralda.
“Because of respondent’s prejudgment, a danger that Petitioner will be framed up for the ambush and subsequently be the subject of an extralegal killing, which will be committed in the guise of effecting a lawful arrest, now exists,” Gatdula said.
“This is an inevitable conclusion because respondents De Lima and Esmeralda have access to men and means to carry out an extralegal killing while petitioner stands all alone with no one to help him except this Court,” he added.
Esmeralda and his brother were ambushed last week by two men riding a motorcycle while travelling in a four-vehicle convoy along Apacible Street, Paco, Manila. Esmeralda sustained minor injuries while his brother was hit by a bullet on the right shoulder.
De Lima, together with Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan attributed the ambush to the case of Japanese national Noriyo Ohara where Gatdula and several other ranking NBI officials were relieved amidst allegation of abduction and extortion.
The “ambush me” tag came up following reports that the crime scene was cleared immediately after the incident and Esmeralda managed to call De Lima a few minutes after the ambush.
The writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security has been violated or is threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.