DOJ orders probe on high profile inmate wife’s ambush

MANILA-- Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the reported ambush of a wife of a high profile inmate in Makati City.

"The claim of an ambush by Lalaine Madrigal-Martinez is a serious matter. As Justice Secretary, I take such report, especially by the supposed victim, seriously. I will be remiss in my duty if I did not take it seriously," Aguirre said in a statement.

"We will come out with a statement after the NBI has finished with its ongoing investigation of the supposed ambush on Lalaine Madrigal-Martinez. I would rather be serious than lax in the discharge of my functions," Aguirre said.

Aguirre claimed that Martinez was ambushed early Friday morning along Polaris Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City.

The victim's husband, convicted drug lord Noel Martinez, who is currently detained at the military's custodial center in Camp Aguinaldo, along with other New Bilibid Prison inmates who testified against Sen. Leila De Lima during the House of Representatives inquiry on the illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary during her term as justice secretary.

But Makati City Police said that they did not receive any reports of an ambush within the city on Friday.

Earlier, Aguirre said Martinez told him about the bribe offer to high-profile inmates including his husband to recant their earlier testimonies against Senator Leila De Lima.

Aguirre named former Senator Jamby Madrigal and Laguna representative Marlyn "Len" Alonte-Naguiat behind the PHP100 million offer to high-profile inmates.

He said that high-profile inmates have turned down the offer.

Aguirre said the bribe try was made specifically to the eight inmates currently being held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) custodial center in Camp Aguinaldo.

"We have information that the first offer to the inmates were made yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. It was made by a former Senator and an incumbent Congressman of the Liberal Party in the Province of Laguna. The inmates were told that they have to recant before February 25, 2017," Aguirre said on Thursday.

He noted that the offer was also repeated on Thursday morning through former police officer and convicted kidnapper Clarence Dongail.

"The second offer was made through Clarence Dongail, another Bilibid inmate incarcerated at the AFP Custodial Center this morning. In both instances, the inmates said no," he explained.

He added that they will file a complaint against these people saying "that it is illegal, that is immoral , that is a crime."

"Well-funded and evidently without scruples. This is tampering of the highest order. We are taking the matter very seriously and we will go after those who are responsible," Aguirre added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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