Drilon urges NBI to file disbarment case vs. lawyer in alleged ‘pastillas scheme’ bribery attempt

Published September 23, 2020, 1:52 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to immediately file a disbarment case against lawyer Joshua Capiral, whom the NBI arrested in an entrapment operation for alleged bribery and extortion of several individuals who were implicated in the so-called “pastillas” scheme.

Senator Franklin Drilon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Capiral is head of the NBI’s legal assistance section who was supposedly tasked to investigate immigration officers who reportedly received grease money to allow the smooth entry of Chinese nationals into the country’s ports without proper screening procedures.

“Bantay salakay ang tawag dito. Yung inatasan na mag-imbestiga sa katiwalian sila yung gumagawa ng katiwalian, (Those who were appointed to investigate on corruption are the ones committing corrupt practices),” Drilon said in an interview over DZMM’s Teleradyo.

“This is one of the reasons why Filipinos are losing faith in the ability of the government to fight corruption,” the Senate minority chief stressed.

The disbarment case, he said, should be on top of the filing of criminal and administrative charges against Capiral.

“He is a disgrace to the legal profession. We lawyers took an oath to tell nothing but the truth. Capiral violated that sacred oath of lawyers. All he did in the NBI is to enrich himself through corruption,” said the senator.

Drilon said he would also support an investigation of the NBI if there is evidence of massive corruption in the agency like in the case of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

But at this point, Drilon said there is no evidence of massive corruption in the NBI, saying it was a laudable move for the NBI to arrest one of its members.

“The NBI should make an example out of Capiral that corruption has no place in the agency,” Drilon said.

“If we do not address this, everybody will believe that they can bribe the NBI and having that perception is not good in the fight against corruption,” the lawmaker stressed.