Ombudsman files criminal raps vs. four NBI officials PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 November 2010 11:06

The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) on Tuesday ordered the filing of criminal charges against four officials of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for dereliction of duty.

The charges stemmed from the complaint of three gasoline boys, who were accused of stealing from their employer.

Ordered charged were Atty. Eric Distor, Officer-in-Charge; Atty. Rodrigo V. Bangi, Supervising Agent; Froilan CB Grajeda, Special Investigator III; and Danilo J. Cabanlet, Special Investigator III, all of the NBI's District Office in Iligan City.

Grajeda was charged with five counts of dereliction of duty under Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), while Distor, Bangi and Cabanlet with two counts each.

In addition, Distor was also charged with three counts of slight physical injuries under Article 266 (3) of the RPC.

The case arose from the complaint filed by Christopher T. Lumongsod, Charlie T. Lumongsod, and Jade Mark N. Briones, pump attendants of a gasoline station owned and managed by one Barry Baguio.

In their complaint, the pump attendants alleged that on July 25, 2009, Baguio accused them of manipulating the sales of fuel, using unaccounted balance slips, for their own benefit.

They were brought for investigation into Baguio's office, where the latter mauled them in the presence of Grajeda.

On the evening of the same day, they were brought to the NBI District Office where Baguio paddled them using a piece of wood, this time in the presence of Distor, Bangi, Cabanlet and Grajeda.

Likewise, on July 30, 2009, Distor got mad when he discovered that the complainants had sought assistance from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

He slapped Briones on the face four times, and held the heads of Christopher and Charlie tightly downwards.

Not contented, he ordered the three pump boys to perform some humiliating, degrading and inhumane punishments while he and the other respondents were engaged in a drinking spree inside the NBI District Office.

In an 11-page resolution, the Ombudsman ruled that there is "probable cause to indict Respondents Distor, Bangi, Cabanlet and Grajeda of the crime of Prevarication or Dereliction of Duty" considering that they, "as public officers, did nothing to prevent the infliction of physical abuse on the persons of Complainants."

As to the charge of slight physical injuries against Distor, the Ombudsman said that the said crime was committed when the latter "held the heads of Complainants Charlie and Christopher, all surnamed Lumongsod, tightly downwards and slapped the face of Complainant Jade Mark Briones four (4) times."

In addition to the said charges, the Ombudsman also ordered the conduct of a separate preliminary investigation for the criminal complaint of maltreatment of prisoners under Article 235 of the RPC against the respondents.