NBI files raps vs ‘narcogeneral,’ but not over drugs
What else can investigators do when they couldn’t find evidence to support President Duterte’s allegations linking a former Metro Manila police chief to the drug trade?
They can copy what US authorities did to put American crime boss Al Capone behind bars: Raise questions over his wealth.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed complaints for graft and falsification of public documents against Marcelo Garbo Jr., retired director of the National Capital Region Police Office, over the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) that he filed from 2005 to 2015.
The complaint was lodged on Wednesday in the Office of the Ombudsman against Garbo, one of the five high-ranking police officials whom Mr. Duterte publicly branded as “narcogenerals” shortly after assuming the presidency last year.
But in a press briefing regarding the complaint, NBI Deputy Director General and spokersperson Ferdinand Lavin admitted that the bureau could not find anything that could link Garbo to the drug trade.
Garbo, Lavin said, was “very clean on that.”
Tactic vs mobster
“That’s why there is this antigraft investigation. They may be clean on their activities but when it comes to their income, that’s where we’ll see. Remember Al Capone?” Lavin said.
The NBI official was referring to the tax evasion charges filed against Capone, a tactic that the US federal prosecutors used to pin down the mobster, who then lived a lavish lifestyle but did not pay income tax.
“That’s how we do it,” Lavin said, adding that the graft complaint was the result of an investigation “separate” from the one on Garbo’s alleged links to drugs.
Lawyer Nat Ramos, executive officer of the NBI’s antigraft division, said Garbo was also accused of falsification of public documents for failing to disclose some assets in his SALNs.
He said Garbo declared a total of P22 million in assets during the period covered by the SALNs but could not explain the source of the P17 million.
The NBI also discovered P18.3 million worth of assets that were “not declared,” Ramos said.
“(There amounts were) grossly disproportionate to his income as public official,” Lavin added.
Aside from Garbo, the NBI also filed a complaint against his wife lawyer Rosalinda Garbo for violating Republic Act No. 1379, or An Act Declaring Forfeiture In Favor Of The Government Of Unlawfully Acquired Property.
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