MANILA, Philippines - Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula filed his counter-affidavit with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges in connection with the alleged abduction of undocumented Japanese national Noriyo Ohara in October of last year, denying all the charges leveled against him.
Gatdula, however, did not appear before Friday's preliminary investigation hearing and subscribed to his counter-affidavit before a state prosecutor not belonging to the panel hearing the case.
Based on his counter-affidavit, Gatdula called the allegations against him "flimsy and speculative" and the complaint "insufficient in form and substance and asked the DOJ panel, composed of Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera, Hazel Valdez, and Irwin Maraya, to dismiss the complaint.
"The affidavit of the complainant dated 28 Dec. 2011 failed to show any accusations that the undersigned respondent is involved in the alleged kidnapping incident. According to the Letter-Complaint, Ohara is formally charging the respondents, including me... without any narration of facts in the complaint on why she is including me as one of the respondents," Gatdula said.
Gatdula, former NBI Security Management Division (SMD) Chief Mario Garcia, NBI 'assets' Chona Elen Esplana and Virgelito Gutierrez alias 'Labsky,' Gatdula's former special assistant, Raul Dimaano, former NBI-Security Management Division Executive Officer Jose Odellon Cabillan and Gutierrez's driver, Jay were charged for the alleged kidnapping of the Japanese national, and allegedly extorting P6 million from her.
Gatdula further pointed out that Ohara's witnesses gave "inconsistent statements." He said implicating him in the crime was a mere ploy by some personalities who wanted him out of the country's primary investigation arm.
He deplored Cabillan's allegation that he was part of the alleged crime.
"[T]he accusations/allegations against me were designed, crafted and 'tailored fit' by some unscrupulous individuals who wanted me out of the NBI and tarnish my good name and reputation in the military and the Philippine National Police communities and the public at large," he said.
"To allege is one thing, to prove that the said allegation is true is another thing... The facts themselves must demonstrate that the crime was actually committed and that the undersigned (Gatdula) respondent was part of the group that allegedly committed such crime," he added.
Gatdula also pointed out that Ohara should be deported to Japan for having obtained a "fake passport," and her foster family, the Marzans, should also be held accountable for assisting her to obtain the same consistent with Sec. 19 of the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.
The DOJ panel, meantime, directed Gatdula to personally appear before them when he submits his supplemental counter-affidavit.