De Lima: No sacred cows in Rolito Go probe

Posted at 08/17/2012 1:11 PM | Updated as of 08/17/2012 5:54 PM

MANILA (1st UPDATE) - There will be no sacred cows in the investigation into murder convict Rolito Go's disappearance from the New Bilibid Prisons, bared Justice Sec. Leila De Lima.

The determination of who should be held accountable for the incident may possibly go as high up as the level of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Dir. Gaudencio Pangilinan, depending on the results of the probe, she said.

Rolito Go, who is serving his sentence at the state penitentiary in Muntinlupa City for the shooting of Eldon Maguan in 1991, went missing on Tuesday, along with his nephew Clemence Yu, a registered nurse, and resurfaced on Wednesday night.

Go claims he and his nephew were abducted by 4 men who identified themselves as personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) from the Ina ng Awa Church, where Go serves as lay minister, inside the NBP reservation.

"No sacred cows, that's what the President said... the fact that the Director (Pangilinan) is now on leave. Kailangan titingnan natin kasi nga yung aspeto ng command responsibility if it would go up to the level of the Director," De Lima said.

Pangilinan's voluntary indefinite leave on Thursday had Pres. Aquino's go signal. Several prison officers, including Go's custodian, had been relieved of duty.

NBI investigating team's marching orders

Earlier, the Department of Justice (DOJ) expressed alarm over Go's disappearance because it showed "lapses in security" on the part of prison officials. The BuCor is an attached agency of the DOJ.

De Lima met with Go at the NBP last night where Go narrated his "ordeal" in the hands of 7 captors. Aside from the 4 people, who identified themselves as personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation (NB) who allegedly abducted him, 3 others joined the group in their hideout somewhere in Batangas.

"He is standing pat sa claim niya na siya at pamangkin niya na registered nurse ay inabduct. Madetalye yung kwento and balak kong ivalidate yung karamihan nung mga detalye na sinabi niya. Titignan ko kung yung mga kwento ni Rolito Go kagabi ay tumutugma din sa initial findings ng NBI... I will tell the NBI team to follow through, to verify details na dinisclose sa akin ni Rolito Go," she said.

De Lima met with the special NBI team investigating the incident this afternoon and instructed the team to "interview and interrogate Go," Yu, and the people at the church at the time of the alleged abduction. The NBI is also trying to look into calls exchanged between the abductors and Go's sister during the so-called negotiations when Go and Yu were in "captivity."

De Lima also instructed the NBI to expand its probe into alleged past incidents of abduction of NBP inmate relatives.

The justice chief admitted that the NBI is not yet convinced on Go's version of the story.

"Yung NBI, hindi naniniwala pa dun sa version ni Rolito Go pero ayaw namin magkaroon ng conclusion na kaagad na hindi pa kumpleto yung mga ebidensya," she said.

De Lima added that Go does not believe his abductors were from the country's lead investigating agency.