De Lima tells Gatdula to just face kidnap complaint
MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said Thursday that former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula might not be in his right mind for making various allegations and attempts to stop the Department of Justice (DoJ) from investigating him over his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and illegal detention of Japanese Noriyo Ohara. He should face the complaint, she added.
Gatdula has asked the Manila City Regional Trial Court to stop the DoJ from investigating him on the Ohara case. The court indefinitely stopped the DoJ from conducting the investigation.
Gatdula also filed a petition for writ of amparo against De Lima, NBI officer-in-charge Nonnatus Rojas and NBI deputy director Reynaldo Esmeralda, asking the court to order them 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.” Gatdula was referring to the ambush of Esmeralda on February 21. He alleged that Esmeralda staged his own ambush.
“’Di ko nga lang alam kung maaawa o matatawa na lang ako sa mga pinaggagagawa niya (Gatdula) because instead of confronting head-on the preliminary investigation (on the complaint for kidnapping, serious illegal detention), ay kung anu-ano ang pina-file. Nakakuha ng injunction and then this writ of amparo,” De Lima told reporters in an ambush interview.
“Masyado na ’ata… ewan ko, baka because of his bitterness na ’di niya matanggap-tanggap ang nangyari sa kaniya; baka nasisiraan na ng ulo ’yan,” De Lima added.
The Manila RTC Branch 26 also conducted a hearing Thursday on Gatdula’s petition for writ of amparo where he presented two witnesses—Jim Bryan and Michael Lim, who both confirmed that there were men who introduced themselves as NBI agents asking them where Gatdula lived or where he went.
Hearing will resume on Tuesday, March 6. The Manila court, through Judge Silvino Pampilo, ordered government lawyers to submit a comment on Gatdula’s allegation and to determine if there is a need to issue a temporary protection order on the former NBI head.
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