NBI ordered to probe identity of body said to be Echanis

Robie de Guzman   •   August 11, 2020   •   716

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday said it has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to determine the identity of the person slain in Novaliches, Quezon City, following claims that the deceased was peasant activist and peace consultant Randall Echanis and not Manuel Santiago as reported by police.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he also ordered the department’s special investigation team tasked to probe cause-oriented killings to look into Echanis’ killing.

He, however, stressed that the victim’s identity must be ascertained first before the task force starts its investigation due to “emerging confusion.”

He said he will refer the question on the identity of the body to the NBI Forensic Division.

Once the victim’s identity is verified, the Administrative Order (AO) 35 Task Force, which is assigned to investigate the killings of persons on account of their advocacies, will probe the incident.

The special investigation team was formed in 2012 pursuant to AO 35.

The Quezon City Police District earlier said that the person killed inside his rented apartment in Novaliches was a certain Manuel Santiago based on the identification card found in the scene and the landlord’s statement.

Another person, identified as Louie Tagapia, was also found dead along with Santiago.

The Anakpawis and other militant groups, however, claimed that one of the victims was Echanis, a peasant advocate and peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

The family also declared that the slain person was Echanis. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

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)

Dacera’s camp claims cover-up

Marje Pelayo   •   January 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The family of Christine Dacera is optimistic about the new evidence obtained by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

On Tuesday (January 12), the NBI said they were able to get urine samples inside Christine’s body contrary to the previous result of the autopsy conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the flight attendant’s bladder was empty.

According to Atty. Brick Reyes, spokesperson of the Dacera family, authorities will be able to determine if Christine was given illegal drugs through the urine samples.

“Naniniwala sila that (They believed) Christine was drugged. Nabigyan ng droga (She was given drugs) against her will and eventually she was sexually molested,” Reyes said.

They further claim there was a cover up in the case.

“They believed that there was a cover-up, at tsaka hinihintay namin iyong second autopsy na hiningi namin dahil sa dinidispute ng pamilya ang resulta ng unang autopsy (and we are waiting for the second autopsy because the family is disputing the result of the first autopsy),” he added.

Based on the forensic test result, the suspects will be identified and the truth behind the allegations will soon be determined.

So far, the group of men who checked in at Room 2207 are still hiding even a certain ‘Mark’ who Christine mentioned to her other friend who she suspected to have put something in her drink.

Reyes said the family also wants to seek help from Congress to revisit the provisions of the Anti-Rape Law.

“I think there is a need for a study on the possible amending the law so that we will add the use of this sexual drugs as a ground for same probable cause,” he said.

“I think maraming nabiktima nitong droga na hindi na nagreklamo (I think there are other victims of this drug who are hesitant to come out),” he added.

Meanwhile, the PNP is asking the fiscal office to defer the preliminary investigation set on January 27 while they are still waiting for the results of the DNA analysis, toxicology/chemical analysis, histopath examination, and laboratory result from Makati Medical Center where Christine was brought on the day of January 1.

Christine’s mother and the PNP, meanwhile, refused to comment on the case at this point. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

NBI, itutuloy ang imbestigasyon sa ‘di otorisadong COVID-19 vaccination

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tuloy pa rin ang gagawing imbestigasyon ng National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) sa mga hindi rehistrado at hindi otorisadong pagsasagawa ng COVID-19 vaccination sa bansa.

Ito ay sa kabila ng utos ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa Presidential Security Group (PSG) na huwag magsalita kung sakaling ipatatawag ang grupo sa pagdinig sa Kongreso.

Ayon kay NBI Spokesperson Atty Ferdinand Lavin, hindi taliwas sa pahayag ng pangulo ang pagpapatuloy ng kanilang imbestigasyon dahil hindi naman ito naka-sentro lang sa ginawang na pagpapabakuna ng PSG.

Aniya, layon ng pagsisiyasat na usisain ang mga ulat sa umano’y importasyon, pagbebenta, at pagsasagawa ng COVID-19 vaccination nang walang pahintulot mula sa pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Noong araw ng Lunes nang matanggap ng NBI ang atas mula sa Department of Justice (DOJ) hinggil sa imbestigasyon at hindi ito ititigil hangga’t hindi ipag-uutos ni Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Ayon kay Lavin, makikipag-ugnayan sila kay PSG commander Brigadier General Jesus Durante para sa detalye hinggil sa pagpapabakuna ng kanyang mga tauhan, pati na sa civic leader na si Teresita Ang See kaugnay naman ng ibinunyag nitong marami nang Chinese nationals na nagtatrabaho sa offshore gaming operations ang nakatanggap ng bakuna kontra COVID-19.

Sakop aniya ng gagawing pagsisiyasat ng NBI na alamin kung paano nangyari at sino ang nasa likod ng pagbabakuna, at kung sinu-sino ang tumanggap nito. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

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