Gatdula loses right to submit counter-affidavit
MANILA, Philippines - Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula failed to show up in Friday's hearing on the kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges against him in connection with the alleged abduction of undocumented Japanese national Noriyo Ohara last October 2011.
Gatdula's camp requested for the hearing with the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigating panel, composed of Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera, Hazel Valdez, and Irwin Maraya, for the submission of his supplemental counter-affidavit.
However, he did not show up and was instead represented by counsel.
The panel thus waived his right to submit his supplemental counter-affidavit and set the next hearing on October 8.
Last Sept. 21, Gatdula submitted his counter-affidavit and asked the panel to dismiss the "flimsy and speculative" allegations against him.
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-Security Management Division Executive Officer Jose Odellon Cabillan and Gutierrez's driver, Jay were charged for the alleged kidnapping of the Japanese national, and allegedly extorting P6 million from her.
The panel granted Gatdula's plea to close the hearing to media cameras. In spite of this, Gatdula was still unable to appear.