MANILA, Philippines – Businessman Roberto Ongpin was a no-show during Monday's preliminary investigation hearing into serious illegal detention charges filed against him by his former employee, Eduveges Batalan.
Represented by counsel Dominador Say, Ongpin urged the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to furnish him the complete set of documents that form part of the complaint.
Batalan and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the public complainant in the case, were given 10 days to file their comment on the motion, after which Ongpin and the other respondents shall be given time to reply.
There was no commitment on the part of Ongpin's camp as to when he shall submit his counter-affidavit and defense, as his camp intimated it may question the constitution of the 3-member DOJ panel that is hearing the complaint.
Batalan claimed he was brought to Balesin Island Resort, a resort developed by Ongpin, allegedly upon Ongpin's orders, and held there against his will from Feb 4 to 7, upon suspicion that he stole P3 million from the company.
Serious illegal detention is a non-bailable offense that carries the penalty of life imprisonment.
Ongpin and the other respondents, all of whom are his employees, also face charges of grave coercion and robbery.