Mayor sues NBI agents for 'railroading' rape case

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2017 08:03 PM

MANILA - Balayan, Batangas Mayor Emmanuel Salvador Fronda on Thursday filed criminal and administrative complaints against two National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents for the alleged "patently railroaded and irregular investigation" of his rape case.

In his complaint, Fronda asked the Ombudsman to investigate NBI agents Artistotle Adolfo and Marie Catherine Nolasco for violating the Presidential Decree 1829 titled "Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders," committing grave misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service.

His camp is also asking for a 90-day preventive suspension of Adolfo and Nolasco, to prevent possibilities of exerting undue influence or pressure on the witnesses, or of tampering evidence.

The issue stemmed from the rape and violation of Republic Act 7610 or the "Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act" cases filed against Fronda last December. He was accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl.

Fronda's camp said the victim's sworn statement dated August 10, 2016 allegedly cleared the mayor of rape.

As quoted by Fronda's camp, the document stated that "Walang nangyari sa akin at sa Mayor ng Balayan na si Mayor JR Fronda at ito'y mga kathang-isip lamang at gawa-gawa lamang at wala akong reklamo laban sa kanya, na hindi ko personal na kakilala si Mayor."

When confronted with this detail, Aristotle and Nolasco allegedly claimed that the Balayan police told the victim to clear the mayor of rape.

In order to clarify the conflict on the accusations made and the victim's testimony, the mayor's camp asked the NBI agents to subpoena the police investigator and the victim.

Aristotle and Nolasco allegedly promised to issue a subpoena, and even put the victim to a lie detector test.

However, the NBI instead recommended Fronda's indictment after a week. 

Fronda said this is "clearly an obstruction of justice."

"The NBI completed its investigation with undue swiftness. It concluded its investigation within a week the first hearing was held on 21 November 2016 and it already recommended my prosecution to the DO on 28 November 2016 without even issuing subpoenas to material witnesses," Fronda said in his complaint.

Fronda also pointed out that Aristotle and Nolasco endorsed the case to the Department of Justice without executing an affidavit that they have investigated the case, and did not submit the victim's sworn statement as evidence.

"Agents Nolasco and Adolfo intended to suppress the evidence in their possession which would negate criminal liability on my part with respect to the complaint of (the victim)," Fronda added.

"These are very strong pieces of evidence, and nakakagulat on our part bakit hindi nila kinonsider ito...as annexes in determining the filing of the complaint," said Atty. Carlo Sanchez, one of Mayor Fronda's lawyer.

"They have to consider this. The problem is they didn't. So, it was railroaded because these pieces of evidence were never considered."

They also pointed out that the case was filed hastily.

Adolfo and and Nolasco have yet to comment on the complaint.