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MANILA, Philippines – Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Magtanggol Gatdula can still defend his innocence at the preliminary investigation into the alleged kidnapping of a Japanese woman.
In an interview on Sunday, January 22, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Palace has recommended the investigation as a “first step” in the process of determining whether Gatdula was involved in the kidnapping and extortion case of an undocumented Japanese citizen in December 2011.
Asked what would happen if Gatdula is later cleared of the allegations against him, Valte said, “That would come out in the proceedings. Remember, a preliminary investigation would look for probable cause. He would be given a chance to defend himself.”
She added that the results of the preliminary investigation “would be released to the public,” especially given the attention that the case had generated.
“He is not being denied his right to defend himself. We have the proper venue for that,” Valte said.
On Thursday, January 19, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the removal of Gatdula who was on a 30-day vacation leave. Gatdula has been NBI Director since July 2010.
President Aquino had said on Friday, January 20, that he ordered the replacement of Gatdula as “the trust is longer there,” and based this on Gatdula’s refusal to carry out an order to move transfer the Japanese national from the NBI to the the “proper venue” which is the Bureau of Immigration, since the person involved is undocumented.
Mr. Aquino had said that “at the end of the day, the head of the principal agencies will be a person who has our trust and confidence.”
Gatdula had said he intends to clear his name. – Rappler.com