NBI official survives ambush

NBI deputy director Reynaldo Esmeralda is now recovering in a hospital

AMBUSHED. NBI deputy director Reynaldo Esmeralda survived an ambush Tuesday night. Photo from the NBI website

MANILA, Philippines – National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy director Reynaldo Esmeralda is recovering at the Manila Doctors Hospital after he survived an ambush Tuesday night, February 21.

A riding-in-tandem convoy ambushed Esmeralda and his companions in Paco, Manila, said an NBI agent who refused to be named due to lack of authority to speak of the matter.

“What is more important right now is that they are very stable at the present time,” said Manila Doctors Hospital medical director Dr Mario Juco in a late-evening press conference.

The gunmen escaped and the NBI is still investigating their identity and motives, the agent added.

The media is awaiting the official report on the incident from the Manila Police District as of this posting.

Gatdula connection?

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Esmeralda himself informed her of the incident at around 8 p.m., according to a report by ABS-CBN News.

“It happened so fast, according to him. In fact, his security attempted to fire back but weren’t able to do so because the tandem fled away,” she said.

Quoted by ABS-CBN, De Lima said authorities are investigating the connection of the incident to a case that led to the sacking of NBI director Magtanggol Gatdula.  

This is the case of Noriyo Ohara, a Japanese national abducted in Pangasinan 2 years ago. Gatdula was allegedly involved in the supposed kidnapping and extortion attempt in Ohara’s case.

“We are taking the threat seriously against our officials,” De Lima reportedly said.

Esmeralda, however, was not part of the fact-finding panel on Gatdula’s case, according to De Lima. – Rappler.com

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