Criminal, admin charges filed vs 9 NBI agents by mother of 2 suspects in ‘missing sabungeros’

Office of the Ombudsman

Nine agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have been charged criminally and administratively before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) for alleged torture and filing of “trumped-up” complaints against two suspects in the cases of missing “sabungeros" or cockfight enthusiasts.

Charged were NBI agents Ross Jonathan V. Galicia, Eduardo F. Ramos, Jr., Levi Omar Orille, Aubren Cosidon, Eigelbert Pulan, Abner Dotimas, Nestor Gutierrez, Allan Ernesto Elefante, and Gary Menez of the Task Force Against Illegal Drugs (NBI-TFAID).

As of posting, those charged could not be contacted for comments. Manila Bulletin will also publish their answer to the charges once officially filed with the OMB.

The complaint was filed by Joyce A. Manio, mother of arrested suspects Nicasio A. Manio and Nicholes "Kulas" A. Manio.

In her complaint, Joyce narrated the arrest of her sons on June 8, 2021 at their house in Barangay Santolan, Pallocan, Batangas City.

She alleged that there was no arrest warrant presented by the NBI agents, no reason was given for their arrest, and "wala silang awa sa mga anak ko (they have no pity on my sons)" as she quoted her neighbors as saying her sons “were beaten up during the arrest.”

Joyce said her sons were taken to the NBI office along Taft Avenue in Manila due to their alleged involvement in the abduction of Johnver Francisco and Frank Tabaranza --online cockfighting workers who disappeared in Meycauayan, Bulacan on April 18, 2021.

She said that when she visited them on June 9, she was relieved that they were still alive, but also worried because of the way they were treated.

She said her son Kulas whispered to her that they allegedly were being beaten up by the agents, and that they were reportedly presented with different illegal drugs, cellphones, watches, and guns -- items that were supposedly confiscated from their house.

Joyce also accused the agents of forcing her sons to sign documents without explaining what they were for.

"Gusto ko pong mapanagot ang mga alagad ng NBI-TFAID na lumapastangan sa aking mga anak, nanakit, nag lagay ng ebidensya na ikakapahamak ng mga anak ko, pinapainom ng nakakalasing na inumin upang pagsamantalahan at halayin ng kanilang hepe mismo habang ang mga tauhan niya ay nakabantay sa kanila, pag-papaako ng mga krimen na di naman nila nalalaman at upang ito ay gamitin laban sa mga anak ko (I want to hold accountable the NBI-TFAID agents who insulted my children, hurt them, planted evidence, made them drink alcoholic drinks in order to be exploited and molested by their chief himself while his men were watching, accusing them of crimes they don't even know about and use it against them)," she said in the complaint.

Joyce asked the OMB to charge the nine NBI agents with sexual assault under Paragraph 2 of Republic Act No. 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997; planting of evidence under R.A. No. 9165; R.A. No. 9745, the Anti-Torture Act of 2009; R.A. No. 3019,the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; domicile under Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC); grave coercion under Article 286 of the RPC; incriminating against innocent persons under Article 363 of the RPC; delays in the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial authorities under Article 125 of the RPC, and R.A. No. 7438.

For administrative liabilities, she pleaded the OMB to hold the nine NBI agents guilty of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct, oppression, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, grave offense of sexual harassment (Sexual Assault), and violation of R.A. No. 6712, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees.

TAGS: #OMB #NBI-TFAID #Missing sabungeros