PNP welcomes Adaza raps

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Philippine National Police yesterday welcomed the charges filed before the Ombudsman by lawyer Homobono Adaza against the agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group who arrested him and four others two weeks ago.

“We welcome the charges and are ready to answer all the allegations against our men before the proper forum,” said PNP chief Director General Avelino I. Razon Jr.

Razon, along with CIDG director Chief Supt. Raul L. Castañeda, CIDG chief directorial staff and head of its Special Reaction Unit Senior Supt. Asher A. Dolina, Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Y. Velasco and lawyer Raymond Fortun were among those charged by Adaza with violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act, violation of the ethical standards for government officials, arbitrary detention and violation of the anti-wiretapping law.

Castañeda and Dolina also said they are ready to defend themselves from the charges. “We’re performing our mandate as police officers when we made the arrest. And we have reason to believe that the arrests were legal,” Castañeda said.

Last July 3, the PNP-CIDG filed criminal charges against Adaza and five others in connection with an alleged plot to topple the Arroyo administration. They would have carried out the coup had they succeeded in demanding US$10 million from a group of Japanese investors, authorities said.

Charged with violation of Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code (Proposal to Commit Coup d ‘Etat) apart from Adaza were Army Lieutenant Colonel Oscar P. Mapalo, retired Army Colonel Ernie A. Amboy, retired Marine Col. Cesar A. dela Peña, retired Army Col. Edgardo Tapia and dismissed PNP Superintendent Rafael A. Cardeno.

All have posted bail except for Cardeno who is facing a non-bailable case of murder in connection with the assassination of self-styled Young Officers Union spokesman Baron Cervantes in 2001.

Velasco also recommended the filing of a case for obstruction of justice-harboring fugitive against Adaza, Mapalo, Amboy, de la Peña and Tapia for harboring Cardeno.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo V. Puno in a statement said the complaint against Adaza and the others was filed by Fortun together with the general manager of Buenavista Island Resort identified as Ms. Joanne Laurilla.

“OMT Security Services, Inc., Adaza’s group offered to provide security services for Laurila’s resort sometime early May, this year and in some series of meetings, Adaza’s group proposed before Atty. Fortun that his Japanese client/investors raise $4 million or P160 million ‘in order to finance a coup d ‘etat to be organized by CMT’s ‘friends’ in the military,” Puno said.

Adaza described Fortun’s allegations as lies. “He’s a congenital liar and I know that these charges will not stand in court. I have not been a lawyer for many years for nothing,” Adaza said before he was taken to the police hospital.