Court OKs protection order for ex-NBI chief Gatdula
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The Manila Regional Trial Court on Thursday granted the request of former National Bureau of Investigation Director Magtanggol Gatdula for a writ of amparo following threats to his life.
Judge Silvino Pampilo of Manila RTC Branch 26 ordered "concerned government agencies to protect the former NBI Director and his family."
Gatdula said he filed his petition after witnesses Michael Lim and Jim Bryan Malabuyoc told him that unidentified men in unmarked vehicles had driven up outside the INC compound and asked about him.
He said Lim had disclosed to him that he overheard the men say, “if andyan, tirahin [if he’s there, hit him].”
Gatdula, in his testimony on Wednesday, said he has been used to threats after being in the law enforcement for a long time but he cannot ignore the threat to his family as well.
Respondents in Gatdula's petition are Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, NBI Deputy Director Reynaldo Esmeralda, or NBI officer-in-charge Nonnatus Ceasar Rojas.
Gatdula’s camp had insisted that the ambush on Esmeralda two weeks ago in Paco, Manila was staged to pin him down. His lawyer Abraham Espejo had said the apparent plot was to pin the crime on him, have him arrested and then make it look like he resisted arrest or tried escaping---presumably as a justification for shooting him.
Esmeralda, however, said the alleged “ambush-me” plot by his camp is a big lie, and called as liars two witnesses interviewed on television who had said the ambush scene on Apacible Street in Paco, Manila looked like the venue of a location shoot because of the incredible actuations of Esmeralda’s security aides .
In a TV interview on Thursday, Esmeralda said he would never be so foolish as to stage an ambush and put other people’s lives at risk as well.
He disputed the claim that he only bore minor wounds from fragments of glass that shattered from bullets, and said he in fact still bears bullet metal fragments in his temple and shoulder, and will undergo surgery later.