DOJ’s plan to publish report on Japanese abduction case hitBy Tetch Torres
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—One of the respondents in the abduction and alleged extortion of a Japanese national cried foul over the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) move to publish its fact finding recommendation holding them criminally liable in its website (www.doj.gov.ph).
In his motion submitted to the DoJ, Virgelito “Labsky” Gutierrez said the posting of the fact-finding report is merely recommendatory and does not establish their criminal liability.
However, the posting of the fact-finding report on the government’s website “infringes on their constitutional right to have a good reputation before the general public.”
“It portrays them as evil, heartless and ruthless kidnappers disguising themselves as NBI operatives before the general public. The right to a good reputation by the respondents is included in their right to life which they could never be deprived of without due process of law,” Gutierrez counsel Romeo Esmero said.
The fact finding report of the DoJ recommended that former National Bureau of Investigation chief Magtanggol Gatdula be prosecuted for the alleged abduction and extortion of Noriyo Ohara.
Aside from Gutierrez and Gatdula, also recommended for prosecution include Mario Garcia, Special Investigator and former Chief of the NBI-Security Management Division (NBI-SMD); Security Volunteer Jay Ducusin; Raul Dimaano, Special Assistant of Director Gatdula and Jose Odelon Cabillan, Special Investigator and former Executive Officer of the NBI-SMD and NBI asset Chona Elen.
“It should be emphasized in this regard that the fact finding inquiry is only as it is, a Fact-Finding. It is not a preliminary investigation that establishes a criminal responsibility on the part of the respondents by which they are therefore still constitutionally presumed innocent but in the eyes of the DoJ Website Viewer, they are already guilty as hell which is conclusive and beyond question,” Esmero said.