Christine Dacera case: 12 occupants from room 2207 appear before NBI

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021   •   585

MANILA, Philippines – Twelve individuals who stayed at room 2207 in a Makati City Hotel have appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in connection to the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

NBI Spokesperson Atty Ferdinand Lavin said the 12, who came along with their legal counsels, underwent over 10 hours of question and answer investigation by the NBI experts.

“They opted that they will come  again altogether, sama-sama sila with counsels so everyone is to witness how the investigation proceeds as against all of them, nakikita nung iba paanong iniimbestigahan sila,” Lavin said.

It was learned that Dacera and some of her friends rented room 2209 of the City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati to celebrate the new year and that they mingled with the occupants of room 2207.

In CCTV footages, Dacera and some of her friends were seen going back and forth between the two rooms on the night of December 31.

Dacera was found unconscious last Jan. 1 in the bathtub of room 2209. She was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Respondent John Pascual dela Serna, in his counter-affidavit submitted to the Makati Prosecutor’s Office, said they went to room 2207 after they were invited by another respondent, Ed Madrid, who knew the occupants there.

Lavin said investigators have also invited the individuals who stayed with Dacera at room 2209 as part of their ongoing probe.

“They have their lawyers so may counsel dito, and we thank them for their cooperation. Hindi pa tapos ito, and the statements would be validated against the pieces of evidence,” he said.

The Department of Justice last week ordered the NBI to help in the investigation into the death of Dacera. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Duterte designates NBI as sole body to probe PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has designated the National Bureau of Investigation to be the sole agency to investigate the alleged misencounter between cops and operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Malacañang said Friday.

“Nagdesisyon po ang ating president na tanging NBI lang po ang mag-iimbestiga duon sa putukan na nangyari sa panig ng mga kapulisan at PDEA diyan po sa Quezon City,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The shooting incident involving policemen and PDEA operatives occurred on Wednesday afternoon near a mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Four individuals – two cops, a PDEA agent and an informant – were killed in the gun battle.

The PNP and PDEA earlier said that a joint Board of Inquiry has been created to look into the incident.

But due to Duterte’s order, the joint probe will have to be discontinued.

“’Yung mga binuong joint panel para imbestigahan yan, na binuo po ng PNP at PDEA ay di na po magtutuloy sa kanilang imbestigahan,” Roque said.

Both PNP and PDEA assured to work with the NBI in compliance with Duterte’s directive. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DOJ orders NBI to probe PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct its own probe into the shooting incident that transpired between members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Wednesday night.

The shooting incident between operatives of the PNP and PDEA occurred near a mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

“This is separate and distinct from the probe to be conducted by an ad hoc joint PNP-PDEA board of inquiry earlier announced by PNP chief Debold Sinas,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

“I gave them (NBI) 10 days to submit a report,” he added.

Sinas earlier said that a joint PNP-PDEA Board of Inquiry has been created to determine what transpired and who should be held liable for the incident.

The PNP chief appointed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) as the lead investigating body, while the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has been designated “to speak on any updates from the PNP in order to keep the public updated with accurate and relevant information.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Up to NBI to include Mon Tulfo in probe on use of unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine, DOJ says

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2021

Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he will leave it to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to decide on whether to include special envoy to China Ramon Tulfo in its ongoing probe on the alleged illegal inoculations of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

Tulfo earlier admitted that he was administered last year with Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, which is still unregistered in the Philippines.

“I do not dictate upon the NBI as to how it should conduct its investigation. I will leave it to the NBI to determine if it’s necessary or relevant to invite Ramon Tulfo to shed light on the matter,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters on Wednesday, February 24.

Guevarra earlier directed the NBI to conduct a probe into the alleged importation, entry, sale, distribution, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines that are not authorized by or registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

He also ordered the agency “to file appropriate charges against all persons involved and found responsible for any unlawful act” in connection with the matter.

According to the DOJ chief, the NBI has yet to submit a report about its investigation.

“I have no info on whether the NBI has in fact completed its probe; that’s why I’m asking for a progress report,” he said.

Guevarra earlier said that a private person who voluntarily agrees to be inoculated with an unregistered vaccine is answerable only to himself.

But a higher sense of ethical responsibility is demanded of a public officer who is expected not only to follow but also to uphold the law, he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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