Prelim probe on Ohara case reset

Posted at 04/13/12 1:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A hearing on the kidnapping and serious illegal detention charge against former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula and several others was reset after several of Gatdula's co-respondents failed to submit their counter-affidavits and pleadings.

Respondent Virgelito Gutierrez alias 'Labsky,' represented by Atty. Romeo Esmera, failed to submit his response to complainant Noriyo Ohara's reply on his counter-affidavit. Esmera said he was unable to print the pleading due to problems encountered with his computer files.

Gatdula, former NBI Security Management Division (SMD) Chief Mario Garcia, NBI 'assets' Chona Elen Esplana and Virgelito Gutierrez alias 'Labsky,' Gatdula's former special assistant, Raul Dimaano, former NBI-SMD Executive Officer Jose Odellon Cabillan and Gutierrez's driver, Jay were charged for the alleged kidnapping of the Japanese national last October. She also accused them of extorting P6 million from her.

Gatdula has not appeared in any of the hearings and formally asked for the suspension of the preliminary investigation pending the resolution of a civil case he filed before a trial court questioning the results of a fact-finding team that found him liable for Ohara's alleged kidnapping.

Investigating prosecutors Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera, Hazel Valdez, and Irwin Maraya, reminded the respondents to submit their necessary pleadings to speed up the resolution of the case.

The next hearing is set on April 23.