Gatdula axed as NBI Director

President Aquino said he has lost trust on NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula. He is president and he has every right to fire anybody whom he no longer trusts.

But there must be competent way to do it.

After the Department of Justice implicated NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula in kidnapping and extortion, here comes the DOJ Undersecretary Francisco Baraan saying they didn’t make any conclusion.

Take a look at the letter Justice Secretary Leila de Lima sent to the Ombudsman. She can’t decide who she is sending the letter to.

Please click on photo to view it enlarged

From Inquirer:

Nothing conclusive on axed NBI Director’s guilt says DoJ official

There is still nothing conclusive regarding the recommendation to file a complaint for kidnapping and serious illegal detention against dismissed National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Magtanggol Gatdula, a ranking official of the Department of Justice (DoJ) told Radyo Inquirer 990AM on Friday morning.

“What we did is only fact finding investigation. We have no conclusive findings there because our duty is to recommend only,” Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan said in an interview.

“But the President [Benigno Aquino III] has read our recommendation. He can remove any official who are serving at his pleasure with or without cause even Director Gatdula has no participation based on our findings,” Baraan said.

Gatdula has been replaced following the recommendation of the DoJ panel chaired by Justice Undersecretary Baraan that he be subjected to a preliminary investigation for kidnapping and serious illegal detention under the Revised Penal Code following the allegations abduction and extortion of Noriyo Ohara or Marife Laganas.

“Just to disabuse the mind of the public, there is still no finding of guilt [but] the President mde the judgment call-that’s his discretion,” Baraan said adding that their recommendation was only to include Gatdula in an administrative investigation, “but the President exercised his discretion as the appointing power.”

The case stemmed after Ohara was taken by the NBI last Oct. 29. Foster family of Ohara said the NBI asked for P15-million in exchange for her release and for not initiating deportation proceedings against her.

Aside from Gatdula, there are other ranking officials of the NBI recommended to be slapped with various criminal complaints. The panel also recommended a major revamp of key officials at the NBI. Tetch Torres,


Aquino accuses sacked NBI chief of insubordination

President Benigno Aquino said former National Bureau of Investigation director Magtanggol Gatdula committed insubordination when he failed to turn over to the Bureau of Immigration an undocumented Japanese.

Aquino said there were orders for Gatdula to make the transfer but he failed to do so.

“That to me is insubordination. Now, at the end of the day, the head of the principal agencies will be a person who has our trust and confidence,” the President told reporters.

“The trust is no longer there,” he added.

January 20, 2012 6:31 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Justice

323 Responses

  1. Ellen - January 20, 2012 6:33 pm

    Photo of De Lima’s letter came from Charmaine Deogracias FB wall.

    Her comment:

    What’s in a rush, a hush? A case of signing without reading? Spot the error in this official document signed by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on the case of NBI Dir. Gatdula. The DOJ can’t seem to make up its mind who is really the ombudsman!

  2. duane - January 20, 2012 6:46 pm

    With due respect to government employees who are competent, full of initiative, patient, gracious and intelligent: what can you expect from an average civil servant?

    It is the reason why government is not effective. It is filled by incompetent manpower.

  3. chi - January 20, 2012 9:28 pm

    Baka miss pa nya si Mercy o sadyang hindi nagbabasa kung pumipirma. This is a booboo, a lawyer is usually detailed and meticulous. Asus!

  4. saxnviolins - January 20, 2012 10:38 pm

    Pontius Pilate pala yang si De Lima. Hugas kamay.

    Note the text. She quoted her fact-finding panel as having made the recommendations. It is not a recommendation from her to the Ombudsman.

    Maaari ngang pinilipit ang kamay niya.

  5. Tedanz - January 20, 2012 10:42 pm

    Another PMA’yer …..

  6. Mike - January 21, 2012 12:52 am

    It started with Ramon Tulfo’s column. Didn’t expect that Gatdula would be kicked out because of this.

  7. duane - January 21, 2012 1:05 am

    Note that the letter was initialed.

    In a complex and busy corporate world, unless you’re a person who do not trust even your own mother, authorized signatories look only for the initials of their subordinates prior to signing.

    That is the reason why others bring along their trusted buddies in new assignments. To eliminate trojans into his system.

    Yet, what can you do if your undersecretaries are from the opposite camp? You’re bound to fail and be doomed.

  8. joeseg - January 21, 2012 1:15 am

    Tindi ng arrive, Pinalakol si Gatdula bilang NBI director…mabuhay pa kaya?

    Nasanay na yung typer sa pangalan ni Gutierrez but this kind of thing ay talagang nangyayari altho there’s no excuse on the part of the signatory to say hindi na nya binasa. Malilintikan dito yung nag-type, yung nag-initial na malamang ay chief of staff ni Sec. de Lima.

  9. chi - January 21, 2012 2:38 am

    Lagot, baka mawalan ng mesa at silya yung nag-initial buti sana kung trojan nga. Kung chief of staff ni Leila, ibig sabihin hindi nya pinalitan ang COF ni Raulgon?

  10. chijap - January 21, 2012 8:07 am

    I’m not sure where the lack of competence is but if there is clear evidence and reason to doubt performance, the President can and should have (which he did) what its suppose to.

    I apologize but I’m not sure why people are complaining. Baliktarin natin ang sitwasyon, that in spite of all these investigation, Aquino did not relieve Gatdula, then parang si Puno naman.

    A little slack to the fellow taking up the position he is not really abusing.

  11. saxnviolins - January 21, 2012 8:34 am

    # 10

    Noy na naman?

    The article clearly talks about the incompetence of the people around De Lima, and maybe even De Lima, for not at least scanning before signing.

    Masyado naman ang full court press in defense of Noy, even when he is not the topic.

  12. dtranscriber - January 21, 2012 12:10 pm

    Hahaha. Sa tingin ko gumamit ng dating memo/dccument para kay gutierrez then inoverwrite na lang ung contents then save as another document title. Boom, pass sa higherups for signature, at dahil sa sobrang busy at tiwala sa subordinate who made the memo, initial lng ng initial ung mga bossing. Ayun, typo….

    It happens… learning experience…

  13. chijap - January 21, 2012 2:18 pm

    @Sax, with all due respect to your views (which are admirable), the decision was obviously made by Aquino.

    De Lima signed the formal decision but Aquino made the final call.

    And I don’t agree its merely “incompetence,” but simply clerical mistakes.

    Sorry i don’t agree that its simply about “full court press in defense of Noy” but really putting things into perspective.

  14. saxnviolins - January 21, 2012 4:04 pm

    Read the letter. De Lima did not make any decision, nor even a recommendation. She quotes the panel as making the recommendation.

    Ellen’s article was about the entire DOJ recommending to the President. There is the panel that had not decided what to recommend, and there is the Secretary who only quotes the panel, in the letter to “Ombudsman Gutierrez”. True, the second sentence would seem to indicate the President, flowing from the first. But the entirety of the article points to the DOJ.

    This is the problem in the age of twitter. Seems people only read the first 140 characters and make conclusions. A thorough read of the article would indicate that Ellen is critical of the DOJ, and conflicting statements from a “ranking DOJ official” (first paragraph after “From the Inquirer”) and Usec Baraan (second paragraph after “From the Inquirer”).

    I don’t think Ellen was criticizing the President, because she concedes that Gatdula is serving at the pleasure. One need not “competently” fire an official serving at the pleasure.

    When one serves at the pleasure, he may be fired when pleasure turns to displeasure (quoted from an old Supreme Court decision.).

    You said:

    A little slack to the fellow taking up the position he is not really abusing.

    In the same way, cut us some slack and let us talk about the DOJ, and not Noy. I don’t want to talk too much about him, because it may rouse the Noranians and the Vilmanians on this blog, and they will start posting again, about the positive traits of one guy or one girl. The discussion usually degenerates when those posters chime in.

    At least, the real Noranians and Vilmanians had justification for their adulation. Nora can really sing, and Vilma was pretty in her prime.

    But the guy and girl people are fanatic about here, well don’t get me started.

  15. Star 1542 - January 21, 2012 5:58 pm

    This is similar to the 188 signatories of Corona’s Article of Impeachment, signing without reading. In our Department, occurrence like this calls for a corresponding sanction.

  16. Ellen - January 21, 2012 8:48 pm

    Jerome Aning of the Philippine Daily Inquirer posted this in his FB wall:

    A staff went to the jucra ofc around 7 pm last night to get the remaining copies of the letter. di ko binigay yung copy ko:)

    JUCRA is the organization of reporters covering the justice beat.

  17. saxnviolins - January 21, 2012 9:19 pm

    Dear Ombudsman Gutierez:

    Para bagay, sana sa ilalim ay:

    “Raul De Lima” or “Leila Gonzalez”

    My heckler PMAyer friend says, how about Leila Mancao?

  18. saxnviolins - January 21, 2012 10:28 pm

    Manila Times says the sacking has to do with the Iglesia ni Cristo.

    Lagyan ng tatlong w.

  19. chi - January 21, 2012 11:14 pm

    #19. Ooopppsie, nandito pala sagot sa tanong ko which I posted in the most current loop.

  20. chi - January 21, 2012 11:26 pm

    Thanks for the link, atty sax.

    “The President allegedly disliked the way the Church of Christ was supporting his enemies, whom he wanted to weed out from the government because they were considered barriers to his plans.” -manila times

    As long as it is towards the “Daang Tuwid” ayos lang. Pero di ba pwedeng kausapin na lang ni Pnoy ang INC kasi galit din naman sa kanya ang mga obispo ng simbahang Katoliko?

    Daming ‘anggulo’ dinala ng letter ni Leila kay Mercy…este ke de Carpio-Morales pala.

  21. saxnviolins - January 22, 2012 1:29 am

    Is it about the INC? Or is is about syndicates in the Bureau of Immigration and their business of “protecting” aliens?

    Lagyan ng tatlong w.

    Mukhang mas plausible itong pangalawa. Kapag hindi nakipaglaro ang isang baguhan, at nawalan ng kita ang mga datihan, ang bago ang karaniwan na natitigpas.

  22. Ellen - January 22, 2012 1:43 am

    The information I got on the Ohara case is closer to what was written by Alvin Capino.

    Thanks, SnV.

  23. chijap - January 22, 2012 3:00 am


    “De Lima did not make any decision, nor even a recommendation. She quotes the panel as making the recommendation.”

    Isn’t composing and forwarding the letter a form of endorsement which is to me a recommendation?

    “In the same way, cut us some slack and let us talk about the DOJ, and not Noy”

    Criticism is fine as you don’t grow by simply praising a person, you got to find the weakness. Pero wag naman yung puro cheap shots like highlighting the typo error and immediately calling it “incompetent.”

    And then here comes the conspiracy theory which again points it back to Aquino who you said is not people are talking about.

    Alin ba talaga?

  24. saxnviolins - January 22, 2012 4:36 am

    Isn’t composing and forwarding the letter a form of endorsement which is to me a recommendation?

    No. A letter must be judged by its contents. I could have said, “my undersecretary recommends, instead of I recommend.” That is exactly what De Lima said, although phrased differently.

    Read the letter yourself, and ask an English major (Ellen; or you can post it at raissa robles’ and ask her. She too, is an English major).

    Greetings from the Department of Justice (DOJ) !

    This refers to the 6 January 2012 report of the Fact-Finding Panel (constituted pursuant to Department Order No. 1007, S. 2011 DOJ) on the reported kidnapping of Noriyo Ohara by officers and agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

    Based on the testimonial and documentary evidence gathered by the Fact-Finding Panel, it recommended, among others, the filing of administrative charges against the following officials and employees of the National Bureau of Investigation, namely:

    Names listed – Mario Garcia and Magtanggol Gatdula

    This is tacky. An exclamation point after greetings. In an official government letter? Akala ko sa chat lang yan ginagawa, or in free verse poetry.

    How would I have worded it, for my boss?

    “Based on the testimonial and documentary evidence gathered by the Fact-Finding Panel, I hereby recommend, blah blah blah.”

    Ayaw mo ng masydong personal, and would like to avoid the use of “I”? Here goes:

    “Based on the testimonial and documentary evidence gathered by the Fact-Finding Panel, it is hereby recommended that, blah blah blah.”

    In either case, there is a categorical recommendation by the Secretary.

    But the above, is equivocal. There is even a degree of deniability.

    Hindi naman ako ang nag-recommend, yung panel. So when the shit hits the fan, she can do a Pontius Pilate.

    “Since you come from Galilee then you need not come to me.
    You’re Herod’s race! You’re Herod’s case!” [Lyrics from Jesus Christ Superstar, Pilate facing Christ]

  25. saxnviolins - January 22, 2012 4:53 am

    The conspiracy theory about the INC comes from the Manila Times.

    Ellen ( # 24) says her sources have the same info as Alvin Capino. And Alvin Capino is talking about operators in the Bureau of Immigration, not Noy.

    If Alvin Capino’s (and Ellen’s) sources are correct, then the incompetence clearly rests in De Lima’s panel. They believe that Gatdula is the corrupt one, when it is clear that the corrupt ones want Gatdula out, to continue their business.

  26. chijap - January 22, 2012 4:54 am

    I hope i understood it that you think De Lima is really not inclined to string Gatdula. Sapilitan lang?

    On the flip side – De Lima could have ignored the finding of the committee and simply shut up.

    What then?

  27. chijap - January 22, 2012 5:03 am

    Also, everything now rest on the Ombudsman, with the letter forwarding the matter to the Ombudsman for the next phase.

    So kung pinalpak ito lahat ni De Lima et al as you suggest, then Ombudsman will acquit Gatdula and Gatdula can sue De Lima et al. Tama?

    If what you say is true that Gatdula was kicked out buy the scrupulous ones in the BI and DOJ/NBI, then Gatdula should be able to prove this, right?

    It does leave one question hanging: bakit hindi tinurn over ni Gatdula yung babae sa BI, when ordered by the DOJ. (Basically Aquino’s reasoning on letting Gatdula go).

  28. saxnviolins - January 22, 2012 5:35 am

    What I stated was hypothetical.

    If Alvin Capino’s (and Ellen’s) sources are correct, then the incompetence clearly rests in De Lima’s panel. They believe that Gatdula is the corrupt one, when it is clear that the corrupt ones want Gatdula out, to continue their business.

    There is an “If” at the start of the statement.

    If Capino’s and Ellen’s sources are incorrect, and the panel is correct, then De Lima should have worded the letter as “I recommend” or “it is recommended.”

    If De Lima believes her people, then she should have adopted their recommendation as her own. If not, then maybe De Lima believes in the info of Capino and Ellen.

    In any case, the fact that the boss and the usecs do not see eye to eye says a lot about how tightly De Lima holds the reins of her portfolio.

    So if the Bureau of Immigration has “businessmen”, does that indicate that the Raul Gon mafia is still in operation? Do the drug lords still have their connections?

    That to me, is the bigger picture that I would focus on, if I had the ear of the President.

  29. chi - January 22, 2012 5:38 am

    Sinulat ni Capino mas believable kesa dun sa INC kunek.

  30. chijap - January 22, 2012 10:03 am

    @Sax salamat sa paliwanag.

    I agree with you that if you indeed have the ear of the president, so for gold.

  31. Jake Las Pinas - January 22, 2012 10:49 pm

    They must be a big time international syndicate for them to get the NBI director axed and involve the President of the Philippines with this scheme. I wonder if PNoy was fully informed of the situation.

  32. chi - January 22, 2012 10:50 pm

    #30. If De Lima believes her people, then she should have adopted their recommendation as her own. If not, then maybe De Lima believes in the info of Capino and Ellen.


    If she’s still weighing the recommendation she should not have forwarded the letter to two ombudspersons pa. Hindi kaya meron pressure somewhere that the letter was forwarded earlier that she planned?

  33. MPRivera - January 23, 2012 6:05 pm

    Bakit nga hindi hinahabol ng DOJ ang pamilya Marzan kung merong mga alegasyon o impormasyong nagtuturo na ginagamit nila ang kanilang koneksiyon sa isang ahensiya ng gobyerno upang magsagawa ng mga ilegal na gawain katulad ng ilegal na pagpapapasok sa bansa nitong si Ohara?

    Magkano nga ba este, bakit nga ba?

  34. juggernaut - January 26, 2012 2:05 pm

    agree with chijap, the president could do a lot better with people like sax in his inner circle, at times you must have someone yo tell you the hurtful truth even if you don’t want it, bottomline, you need it.

  35. juggernaut - January 26, 2012 2:08 pm

    It does appear that de lima is washing her hands. normally someone does this to avoid offending someone, sino kaya? Hmmmm….

  36. malayangpagiisip - February 10, 2012 12:24 pm

    Ayon sa balitang nasagap ko, si Pe-NOY ay nagsabing ia-abswelto si Gatdula sa kaso kung si Justice Cuevas ay magwiwithdraw bilang lead counsel ni CJ Corona. Ganun na ba talaga kagarapal ang pamamalakad ni Pe-NOY sa bansa naten?

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