Gatdula aides: Ex-NBI chief is innocent-A A +A
Monday, October 15, 2012
FOUR former security agents of dismissed NBI director Magtanggol Gatdula submitted Monday their sworn statements to the Department of Justice (DOJ) corroborating the former bureau chief's innocence in the kidnapping charges filed by Japanese national Noriyo Ohara.
At the continuation of the preliminary investigation, Gatdula also submitted his rejoinder-affidavit insisting that he has no personal or direct control over the NBI's Security Management Division, which had original custody of Ohara.
"It is the Deputy Director of Administrative Affairs that has personally and direct control over the SMD, and not the NBI director. Thus, respondent Gatdula cannot be prosecuted for the acts of the NBI agents who are not under his direct control. Besides, herein respondent cannot be charged with a crime which he has no knowledge of," he said in his rejoinder-affidavit.
Gatdula was sacked from his post by President Benigno Aquino III following the findings of the fact-finding panel of the DOJ that he not only covered up the abduction of Ohara and the P6-million extortion from her by an NBI-SMD team, but that he also was insubordinate when he failed to turn over Ohara to the Bureau of Immigration.
To disprove the allegations, Gatdula submitted the testimony of four witnesses, namely, Jackson Singh Gill, Julian Bautista, Alfonso Albay and Ricardo Martinez, who supported his claim that his supposed appearance at the detention cell of Ohara on October 29, 2011, constituted his complicity in the kidnapping.
Gatdula also said that Ohara was merely assuming that he had knowledge of the SMD operation just because, allegedly, he was not surprised that the complainant was detained in the SMD office.
"The truth is, I did not know she was being detained in the SMD. As per NBI agents, she was being rescued. Moreover, she was not handcuffed or locked in jail while being there at the NBI premises. She is even free to go in and out of the NBI premises," he said.
"Taking into consideration the allegation of the complainant that the NBI director knew of the operation, it is quite illogical and unreasonable that the alleged mastermind of a crime will meet face to face with the alleged victim. No person in his right mind will face his alleged victim. This runs counter to logic, human reason and experience," he added.
In the sworn statement of Gill, a security guard at the NBI, he said Gatdula was in his regular, routinary inspection of the NBI at the time of the incident, contrary to the claim of NBI special investigator Jose Odellon Cabillan, that Gatdula "appears to have prior knowledge and participation as well as in its cover-up" in the operation to abduct and extort money from Ohara.
Gill said that on October 29, 2011, Ohara and a Japanese policeman identified as a certain Hiruta were introduced by NBI Deputy Director for Administrative Services Rickson Chiong and Interpol Division chief Jun de Castro to Gatdula.
Gill said the Japanese nationals did not seem to be under duress during their visit to Gatdula's office, and that they were even happy to see him when they entered Gatdula's office.
After 15 minutes, Chiong, de Castro, Hiruta and Ohara left Gatdula's office, with Ohara even smiling. Afterwards, Gatdula already left his office to proceed with his inspection of the NBI premises, which he does even on weekends.
Gill's statement was corroborated by two other security guards, Albay and Martinez, and Gatdula's security escort, Bautista, who all said that Ohara was not being held against her will when she and Hiruta paid a visit to Gatdula’s office on the same day that the NBI director supposedly saw her detained at the SMD detention facility.
Martinez further went on to say that he overheard Gatdula reiterating his instruction to NBI-NCR Regional Director Constantino Joson to release the Japanese woman who was brought in by Joson's team once documentation is done. (JCV/Sunnex)