Rep. Pinol to sue CIDG chief over report on killing of supporter

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/24 May) – Outgoing Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Bernardo Pinol Jr. is set to file administrative charges against the regional director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 12 for allegedly creating “false stories” to “cover up” the killing of his supporter on May 10.

In a press conference Pinol said the report of the CIDG-12 [on the killing] was “unbelievable” and full of ‘loopholes’.

He cited the CIDG’s allegation that Johnny Magbanua was killed by one of his own men identified as Efren Rivera.

“How can my men shoot somebody when they were not carrying guns? Also, I told them to wear yellow t-shirts with my name printed on it so people could identify them to be my men,” said Pinol.

Rivera, together with the relatives of slain Johnny, showed up during a press conference held today at the DXND mini-auditorium here.

He said he was not hiding because he is not guilty and told reporters what he supposedly knew about the killing of Magbanua.

Pinol further refuted the CIDG by citing a report submitted by the provincial police office to the regional police command on May 12.

The report, released on May 11 by North Cotabato police director, Senior Supt. Cornelio Albasin, said that there exist possibilities that Magbanua’s killers could be individuals coming from the camp of congresswoman-elect Nancy Catamco.

But the report said the witnesses did not identify the supposed killers.

Aside from murder, Rivera is also facing frustrated murder charges based on the complaints filed by four supporters of Catamco.

The complainants said they were tailed and fired at by motorcycle-riding men while they were distributing leaflets and other election materials of Catamco along the highway here a few hours before polling precincts opened.

CIDG-12 has already submitted the complaints to City Prosecutor Al Calica.

Pinol is bent on filing appropriate administrative charges against CIDG-12 regional director Senior Supt. Pedro Austria, who signed the report and submitted it to Calica’s office on May 19.

“It is likely that the CIDG-12 released the report in consideration of huge sums of money,” the lawmaker said during the press conference.

Believing that “justice has been compromised” when the CIDG-12 released its findings, Pinol said he wants the case investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Region 11.

He said he had sent the request to NBI-11 last week. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)