Disbarment of NBI lawyer in ‘pastillas’ racket likely – DOJ

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    JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said the Department of Justice (DOJ) is considering seeking the disbarment of a lawyer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who was recently arrested for selling out the complaint list of immigration agents found to be involved in the “pastillas” conspiracy.

    Guevarra said discussions are underway on whether to initiate disbarment proceedings against NBI legal assistance section chief Joshua Paul Capiral, who was caught in an entrapment operation receiving marked money from an immigration worker who pretended to represent one of the pastillas defendants who wanted to be stricken off the complaint sheet.

    Capiral’s brother, Christopher John, was likewise collared during the operation. Christopher allegedly played as the conduit between the immigration agents and his lawyer-brother.

    The two brothers’ scheme involved setting up the agents who wanted to be excluded from the criminal proceedings to a meeting with the lawyer, who was the head of the NBI team which investigated the pastillas scheme.

    The NBI had filed criminal charges against 19 officers and agents of the Bureau of Immigration whose names were dragged into the pastillas scandal when this was investigated by the Senate.

    “We will consider this action (disbarment) after the inquest resolution,” Guevarra said, adding that he will “discuss it with the NBI leadership.”

    Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon had earlier called on authorities to file a disbarment case against Capiral. He had likewise pressed for a top to bottom revamp of the immigration bureau.

    The Capiral brothers were charged before the DOJ last Wednesday for robbery extortion and for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees.