NBI to probe alleged manipulation of pork prices, supply

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 9, 2021   •   203

MANILA, Philippines—The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will look into the alleged manipulation of pork prices and supply.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra released the order appointing NBI Officer-in-Charge Eric Distor to head the investigation and case build-up. The DOJ also directed the NBI to submit a report within 30 days.

“If evidence warrants, to file the appropriate charges against persons found responsible thereof,” Guevarra stated in the department order.

Prices of pork and other food supply have soared triggered by the African Swine Fever outbreak and pandemic restrictions.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the imposition of a price cap on selected food items in public markets such as pork and chicken to stop the cost from rising further. AAC

Respondents to file counter charges against Dacera family

Robie de Guzman   •   March 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Companions of flight attendant Christine Dacera at a Makati Hotel where she was found unconscious on January 1 will file counter charges against her family, their legal counsel said Monday.

Lawyer Mike Santiago, who represents five of the 11 respondents in the case, said his clients are contemplating filing perjury, and malicious incrimination or prosecution charges against the camp of Dacera for allegedly making unfounded claims against them. They will also seek moral damages.

Santiago said they will also take legal action against some personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for alleged injustices committed against his clients.

“We’re no longer taking this on the defensive side na lang. We will face also these accusers head on na lagi lang kaming depensa ng depensa eh,” he said.

“Ang kalaban namin is yung family and right now it seems tahimik na sila but bakit pati yung NBI ang daming nakikisawsaw sa isyu na ‘to? Ang daming kailangang tuonan ng pansin ng bansa hindi lang itong case na ‘to,” Alain Chen, one of the respondents in the case, said.

The NBI last Friday filed perjury, obstruction of justice, reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act against Dacera’s companions, hours before her death on January 1.

The NBI also recommended filing an obstruction of justice against their legal counsel, Neptali Maroto, and falsification of an official document by a public officer charges against Southern Police District medico-legal officer Michael Nick Sarmiento, who first conducted the autopsy on Dacera’s remains.

But the respondents questioned the complaints, calling it an overkill and the NBI investigation unfair.

“Sino ba ang kalaban talaga ng mga respondent? Una PNP pati si chief PNP up to the chief when he said case closed. Kala ko ba case closed na? Next, sino ba ang Dacera family ba? Ang PNP ba? NBI? All of the above?” Santiago said.

The lawyer said they are not inclined to enter into an amicable settlement.

Santiago also questioned the reckless imprudence resulting in homicide complaint filed against his clients as this only applies to erring drivers and doctors.

On the violation of the dangerous drugs act, the lawyer said his clients tested negative for illegal drug use.

Dacera was found unconscious in a bathtub at a Makati Hotel room on January 1 after a night of merry-making with friends. Her companions said they tried to revive her and rushed her to a hospital where she was later declared dead.

Her family believes she was drugged and sexually abused.

The PNP said in its medico-legal report that Dacera died of natural causes, ruling out homicide as the cause of death. The report stated that she died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm that was triggered by an increase in blood pressure. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

NBI files criminal raps vs 11 people over death of Christine Dacera

Robie de Guzman   •   March 12, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday recommended the filing of several criminal charges against 11 individuals in connection with the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

Among the charges filed by the NBI before the Department of Justice (DOJ) are perjury, obstruction of justice, reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against those who were with Dacera hours before her death on January 1.

Facing the obstruction of justice charges are Mark Anthony Rosales, Romel Galido, John Pascual Dela Serna III, Darwin Joseph Macalla, Gregorio Angela Rafael de Guzman, Jezreel Rapinan, Alain Chen, and Reymar Englis.

The NBI also recommended filing an obstruction of justice charge against their legal counsel, Neptali Maroto.

The NBI also found cause to recommend charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against Dela Serna, Rapinan, Chen and Loiue De Lima for “recklessly neglecting the condition of victim Dacera which led to her untimely death.”

Perjury charges were also recommended against Galido, Dela Serna, and Macalla.

Rosales was recommended for prosecution for introducing party drugs to his companions after investigation showed that he and Galido tried to deliver or give away illegal drugs during their party.

The NBI also filed falsification of an official document by a public officer charges against Southern Police District medico-legal officer Michael Nick Sarmiento, who first conducted the autopsy on Dacera’s remains.

Dacera was found unconscious in a bath tub at a Makati hotel on January 1 after a night of merry-making with friends. Her companions said they tried to revive her before rushing to the hospital where she was later declared dead.

Her family believes she was drugged and sexually abused.

The PNP said in its medico-legal report that Dacera died of natural causes, ruling out homicide as the cause of death. The report stated that she died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm that was triggered by an increase in blood pressure.

DOJ orders NBI to probe Calbayog mayor’s slay

Robie de Guzman   •   March 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice on Tuesday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe into the shooting incident that killed Calbayog City, Samar Mayor Ronaldo Aquino.

In the Department Order No. 057 dated March 9, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra directed the NBI to look into the incident that claimed the lives of Aquino and his three aides.

Guevarra cited the provisions of Republic Act 10867 or the National Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Act in authorizing the agency to undertake the investigation.

“…[T]he NBI, through officer-in-charge Eric Distor, is hereby directed and granted authority to conduct an investigation on the shooting incident in Calbayog City, Samar on March 8 which claimed the lives of Mayor Ronaldo Aquino of Calbayog City and other persons,” the order stated.

The investigating body was also directed to file appropriate charges against all persons involved and found responsible for any unlawful act in connection with the case, if evidence warrants.

The NBI has been given ten days to submit reports on the progress of the investigation to the Office of the Secretary of Justice.

Initial police report showed that Mayor Aquino and his aides were killed after a gunfight with armed men riding another vehicle on Monday afternoon in Barangay Lonoy, Tinambacan District in Calbayog.

The mayor and his aides were aboard their vehicle going to the northern part of Calbayog City when they thought they were being tailed by another vehicle.

One of Aquino’s security details allegedly fired at the other vehicle and its passengers retaliated.

The passengers of the other vehicle turned out to be members of the Philippine National Police Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Group.

Aquino, his driver and a security escort were killed in the incident while another aide was rushed to a hospital.

A police officer was also killed while another was injured.

Guevarra earlier told reporters that the investigation has been referred to the NBI “for the simple reason” that the other party involved is the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The PNP, for its part, said it has formed a special task group to look into the incident as well as the involvement of police officers.

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