TFK questions NBI over ambush probe process

BACOLOD City – Anti-crime and corruption watchdog Task Force Kasanag (TFK) questioned on Feb. 5,2019 the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) regional office on its investigation on the ambush of lawyer Erfe del Castillo last year.

TFK national commander John Chiong said he cannot deny that Atty. Joemax Ortiz is their group’s legal counsel, however, he alleged that the NBI’s investigation on del Castillo’s ambush did not undergo proper procedure.

Citing his experience, Chiong explained that the NBI usually summons by subpoena those involved in the case so they can answer the allegations against them.

The NBI will then decide if they would file the case with the prosecutor’s office.

Chiong said the NBI should conduct the press conference to explain the bases in the filing of a case and present the evidence and the witnesses.

“To avoid any doubts the NBI should have released the statement on what were the basis and procedures,” Chiong said.

The TFK commander appealed to the NBI to conduct a fair investigation as the families of the respondents will also affected by the case filed against them.

Another issue he is questioning is why Del Castillo sought the assistance of the NBI regional office which is located in Iloilo and not the local NBI office in Bacolod.

“Do they not trust the NBI-Bacolod, take note public office is public trust, if they do not trust the NBI-Bacolod then they should have remove them,” Chiong pointed out.

Chiong also appealed to local media to at least withhold the names of the respondents in order to avoid danger to their lives.

“Categorically, the suspects are all denying involvement over the case,” Chiong added.

Last Monday, Del Castillo filed murder charges against several suspects over her ambush which also resulted in the death of former police officer Efren Palmares, her fiancé.

The lawyer identified the suspects as businesswoman Catherine Berioso-Cabuga, also known as Kate Brios; Berioso-Cabuga’s mother Shirley Berioso and sister Caselyn Berioso; and their legal counsel Jose Max Ortiz.

Five police officers were also named, including former Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) director, Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo; former acting BCPO director, Superintendent Richie Yatar; Senior Inspector James Adrian Albaytar; Senior Police Officer 2 Joshua Barile; and Police Officer 3 Ronald Ortiz.