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MANILA, Philippines -– The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed on Thursday before the Department of Justice (DOJ) frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms charges against former NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula and 12 others in connection with the ambush of NBI deputy chief Reynaldo Esmeralda.
The NBI, which is the Philippines' premier investigating body, is an attached agency of the DOJ.
Aside from Gatdula, the other respondents are businessman Tyrone N. Ong, Perfecto H. Villanueva, former policeman and close-in bodyguard of Ong; Ronnie R. Ong, Ramoso B. Ramos, Alfredo B. Compoc, Teodoro P. Abendano, Ricky Dacillo, Gerry Farillon, Jose P. Maglalang Jr., Gino Eustaquio, Aljun N. Monticlaros, and Alvin N. Monticlaros.
They were all charged with frustrated murder with treachery, evident premeditation and use of illegal firearms in connection with the ambush staged last February against NBI Deputy Director Reynaldo Esmeralda in Paco, Manila.
According to the NBI, the recovery of the firearms used in the ambush led to the identities of the accused.
The NBI investigation yielded sworn statements of seven individuals detailing the participation of the 13 respondents in the ambush of Esmeralda, DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima said in a press conference at the NBI on Thursday.
De Lima said the NBI recommended the filing of frustrated murder charges against former NBI Director Gatdula, businessman Tyrone Ong and 11 others.
Esmeralda sustained wounds and his car was peppered with bullets as they were travelling along Pedro Gil St. in Paco.
Before the ambush, Gatdula was dismissed as NBI chief because of his alleged involvement in the "kidnapping for ransom" of Japanese national Noriyo Ohara.