Peers rally behind prosecutor punched by NBI agent in QCBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines (PLP) on Friday condemned what it called an “irresponsible and dastardly” act allegedly committed by an agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who was accused of punching a Quezon City prosecutor without any provocation.
The uproar stemmed from the complaint filed in the Quezon City Police District by Assistant City Prosecutor Benjie Samson, who said the agent assaulted him at the Hall of Justice late Wednesday night.
NBI Director Nonnatus Cesar Rojas on Friday identified the agent as special investigator Roel Jovenir of the bureau’s Technical Intelligence Division.
In a statement, PLP president Jaime L. Umpa did not refer to Jovenir by name but denounced the act of the NBI agent as “a clear violation and disrespect” not only to Samson but to his colleagues in the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“This is a clear affront to the prosecutor concerned, the National Prosecution Service in general, and the DOJ which he represents. No amount of explanation can justify such reckless and irresponsible act,” Umpa said.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she had ordered NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas to conduct an investigation and file charges against the agent.
Prosecutor General Claro Arellano also asked Samson to file a formal complaint.
Umpa, a Northern Mindanao regional prosecutor, called for a thorough investigation so that “proper administrative and criminal charges will be filed against the agent before the court. The League demands a full and impartial investigation of the incident so that appropriate charges are filed in court or in the proper administrative body.”
Samson earlier told police that his attacker was part of a group of men who introduced themselves as NBI agents when they arrived looking for an inquest prosecutor at the Hall of Justice past 11 p.m. Wednesday. He had just returned to the building because he forgot something in his office when he overheard the men talking with the security guards.
Samson said he approached the group and explained to the visitors that the night inquest was only until 11 p.m. At this point, one of the NBI agents punched him without provocation, he said.
The men then immediately left in three vehicles, including one with a government license plate and a car marked “Security Management Division-NBI.”