Ombudsman junks raps vs 3 NBI agents
The Office of the Ombudsman has cleared three agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of allegations of grave misconduct that stemmed from the complaint of an arrested drug dealing suspect.
Dismissed were the complaint filed against special investigators Joel Otic and Salvador Arteche and senior agent Jerome Hernandez, all of the NBI’s Reaction, Arrest Interdiction Division (Raid).
They were sued by Asnawe Macarampud Rugasan of Pasig City, who was charged in court by the NBI after his arrest in September 2010. Asnawe was caught allegedly selling “shabu” to Otic, who posed as a buyer in a transaction set up at a mall car park in Greenhills, San Juan.
But the suspect claimed that the agents illegally arrested him when they found him asleep inside his sports utility vehicle (SUV). He also accused them stealing the watches worth P1 million that he kept in the vehicle.
But the Ombudsman sided with the NBI agents who presented statements from car park guards who witnessed the arrest and said they only saw papers—and no watches—inside the SUV.
“The presumption of regularity in the performance of the NBI agents’ official duties should prevail over the assertions of complainant which are self-serving,” said Bonifacio G. Grandilla, graft investigation and prosecution officer, whose recommendation to dismiss the complaint was approved June 19 by Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang.