NBI lawyer, brod charged with extortion over ‘pastillas’ scam

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    THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted a ranking lawyer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and his brother in connection with their alleged extortion of grease money from Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers tagged in the “pastillas” scheme at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals for their exclusion in the government charge sheet.

    Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon said the charges against Joshua Paul Capiral, the head of the NBI Legal Assistance Desk, and Christopher John Capiral, an immigration employee, were filed before the Manila City Regional Trial Court last Friday.

    The indictment was signed by Prosecution Attorney Honey Rose Delgado and approved by Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento. The Capiral brothers were slapped with extortion for violation of Article 293 in relation to Article 294 (5) of the Revised Penal Code.
    A P100,000 bail for each of the accused have been recommended.

    Aside from extortion, the NBI lawyer was also charged for violation of Section 7 (B) (2) of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards among Public Officials and Employees, with a P30,000 bail recommended.

    The additional charges for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Sections 7 (c) (1) and (2) of RA 6713 against the Capiral brothers were referred “for the conduct of preliminary investigation.”

    Section 7 of the graft law deals with the disclosure or misuse of confidential information to further one’s private interests or to give undue advantage to anyone that prejudice the public interest.

    The DOJ dismissed the complaint against the Capirals for violation of Executive Order 608 series of 2007 or the Establishment of a National Security Clearance System for Government Personnel with Access to Classified Matters.

    The Capirals were arrested last week by the NBI Special Action Unit in an entrapment operation based on the information provided by Immigration officer Jeffrey Dale Salameda Ignacio who is among those linked the pastillas scheme but agreed to cooperate with the NBI.

    NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said the operation was carried out several weeks of surveillance on the Capirals after the NBI received the information that the NBI lawyer was asking for P100,000 from each BI officer being investigated in relation to the pastillas scheme so their names will be excluded in the investigation or the case against them will be lessened.

    The NBI had filed graft charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against 19 BI officials led by acting Ports Operation Division chief Grifton Medina.