NBI DIRECTOR ATTY. FLORENCIO O. VILLARIN
of the Philippines)
I, FLORENCIO O. VILLARIN, Filipino, of age, married and a resident of 22-C Gen. Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City, after being duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and state: THAT-
1. I started my career in law enforcement in the Philippine Constabulary as a commissioned officer in 1961 and transferred to the NBI in 1963;
2. As a law enforcement officer, I was formally trained in the art of criminal investigation at the NBI National Academy in 1963 and at the FBI National Academy, Washington, DC, USA, in 1970.
3. While I was with the 3rd PC Zone Criminal Investigation Service, Philippine Constabulary, I was a member of the Task Force composed of NBI, PC and police created by the President upon the request of Mr. Mac Vencencio, then President of the National Press Club, to investigate the gun-slaying of the late Atty. Antonio Abad-Tormis, then Editor of the Republic Daily News, in 1961 in Cebu City, and for my outstanding role in solving this crime, I was awarded a military commendation from the Zone Commander of the 3rd PC Zone and a citation from the National Press Club; in fact, impressed by my competence in criminal investigation, the NBI agents working with me in this case convinced me to join the NBI;
4. And as NBI agent, I was a member of the "Task Force Untouchable" composed of NBI, PC and Police that crushed the crime syndicate involved in kidnapping, extortion and other grave offenses in Metro Manila in 1964-65 and as a results of our efforts we were able to secure a conviction of all members of the crime syndicate, including Baby Assistio, who later became a congressman of Caloocan City;
5. I solved major crimes, the most celebrated among them were the assassination of the late Judge Carlos Valdez, a relative of former President Ramos, by unidentified gunmen in full view of the public on Easter Sunday morning in March 1967 inside the church in Tacurong, Cotobato; the killing of Atty. Manuel Ortega, a UP graduate and former lawyer of the late Congressman D.O. Plaza, also by unidentified assailants in full view of the public and in the presence of his wife in front of the church in Butuan City in December 1967; the murder of Florentino Lim, godson of former Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez and a prominent businessman in Cagayan de Oro City; the Cossette Tanjuaquio kidnapping case in Guagua, Pampanga; PAL Plane Hijacking in 1968; and the Aida Montecillo Kidnapping with Rape against Democrito Mendoza, Jr., son of Atty. Democrito Mendoza, President of ALU-TUCP Union Congress of the Philippines, who sought a re-investigation of the case on the ground that his son was allegedly innocent but was erroneously included by the NBI agents and the defunct PC Criminal Investigation Service (now known as the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group or CIGD of the PNP) that originally investigated the case. The re-opening of the Montecillo kidnapping with rape case was reported by the President upon the request of Atty. Mendoza;
7. In the case of Aida Montecillo, who was gang-raped by a group of drug addicts, I was able to establish with strong and convincing evidence the innocence of Democrito Mendoza, Jr., who was facing the death penalty by musketry, and based on the evidence gathered I was able to file charges against the real culprits, namely: Romulo Sungahid, et al. before the military authorities as the country was then under martial law, for which I was commended in writing by then Justice Secretary Vicente Abad Santos, who later became a Justice of the Supreme, for saving the life of an innocent person and for my "expertise and professionalized performance in sleuthing and following up the clues leading to the identity of the real perpetrators of the crime"; in another case assigned to me upon the request of then Sandiganbayan Justice Romeo Escareal, I wasl also commended in writing by Justice Secretary Vicente Abad Santos "for a display of competence and industry rare among public servants", photocopies said commendations are attached as Annexes "A" and "B" hereof;
8. I was also awarded a plaque of recognition by the Kiwanis Club of Manila for "exemplary bravery" demonstrated in a gunfight in mid-air against heavily armed holduppers when a PAL plane enroute from Mactan to Manila was hijacked in 1968 and for the gunshot wounds I sustained after killing one of them in my effort to protect the passengers. A photocopy of said award is also attached as Annex "C";
9. I was also a recipient of commendations from the Ambassador of the British government for our splendid assistance to DCI Glenn Gilbertson and his colleagues of the London Metropolitan Police and from the FBI for the effective assistance we extended to FBI Agents William K. West and Jerrold Bamel who were investigating the activities and contacts of Terry Nichols, married to a Filipino and a principal suspect in the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, which resulted in 167 deaths and the wounding of over 500 victims;
10. I was the Special Investigator of the Agrava Fact-Finding Board that investigated the assassination of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino in 1983;
11. I represented the Philippine government in the 7th Conference on organized crime in the Asian region which was held in Tokyo, Japan in 1995 and attended by senior officials of all law enforcement agencies in the region, including law enforcement officials from the US and Canada;
12. I was appointed by former President Corazon Aquino in 1990 as the NBI Regional Director for Central Visayas and I held this position for almost ten (10) years, from 1990 until 1999, when I retired from the government service;
13. As NBI Regional Director for central Visayas, I investigated major crimes and it was our office that first investigated the disappearance of Jacqueline and Marijoy Chiong upon the request of their-parents, Mrs. Thelma Chiong and Dionisio Chiong, on July 18, 1997;
14. Considering the serious nature of the crime committed, I closely supervised the investigation of this case, which I assigned to a team of agents under Supervising Agent Romulo Manapsal, and I personally interviewed Mrs. Thelma Chiong in the presence of her husband to get the facts surrounding the disappearance of their daughters;
16. In cases of this nature, it is a matter of course for a criminal investigator to ask the complainant, Mrs. Chiong in this case, basic questions, such as the names of boy friends or suitors, if any, witnesses and close friends of the persons reported missing so that they could be interviewed to provide us with more vital information to help us locate Jacquiline and Marijoy;
17. And during the interview, Mrs. Chiong disclosed to us a certain Mutya from Tacloban City but residing in Labangon, Cebu City, as the only one courting Jacquiline or Marijoy but she never mentioned to us the name of Francisco Larraņaga as one of those courting any of her daughters, and neither did she mention the names of the other accused in this case;
18. Sheila Singson was also interviewed but, like Mrs. Chiong, she never mentioned to us the name of Francisco Larraņaga and the names of the other accused in this case. Ms. Singson, however, alleged that she saw somebody who appeared suspicious passing by the Global Village, where she and Jacquiline worked, on the evening of the victims' disappearance; hence, a cartographic sketch was drawn by our artist based the description she furnished us but said sketch was not clear;
19. A few days after the body of Marijoy was found dead in a deep ravine in Tanauan, Carcar, Cebu, the police which was also investigating this case, came up with a theory that the victims were abducted and subsequently murdered by hired killers because their father, Dionesio Chiong who managed the Infinity KTV, allegedly misused a large amount of money of the company.
20. Following the discovery of the dead body of Marijoy, we proceeded to Tanauan, Carcar, hoping to find and interview witnesses who could provide us with some information, and right there we interviewed some witnesses and one of them, though initially reluctant to give in any statement, finally informed us that it was very early in the morning, between 3:30 AM and 4:00 AM of July 17, 1997, that she heard a group of persons shouting, singing and dancing on the road near the place where the dead boy of Marijoy was later found;
21. With this vital information, we believed that Marijoy, whose dead body was already recovered, was not slain by hired killers because no hired killers, to our knowledge and in our own experience, would be shouting, dancing and singing the dead of the night before or after killing their victims, thus the NBI ruled out the first theory of the police, and our theory of the case emerged that Jacquiline and Marijoy were victims of drug addicts frequenting the Ayala Business Center;
22. With this new theory of the NBI, requested on July 25, 1997, or barely a week after the dead body of Marijoy was discovered, Supt. Antonio Enteria, then Police Director of the Cebu City Police, during our conference of the Police Advisory and Coordinating Council of the office of the City Mayor of which I was a member with Vice-City Mayor Renato Osmeņa as the Chairman, to furnish the NBI a list of drug addicts frequenting Ayala Business Center from their own files for the purpose of collating with the names of drug users appearing in our own records in order to establish the real perpetrators of this heinous crime.
24. As we pursued our theory, the name of Francisco Larraņaga was mentioned to us as a possible suspect, not by Mrs. Chiong nor by Sheila Singson but by an informant who alleged that he was previously involved in a similar case of abduction, which was, however, aborted, and the records of the University of San Carlos where he was then studying confirmed this incident but we found no hard evidence to link him to case under investigation;
25. At the early stage of the investigation, Inspector Leo Acebedo of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the PNP, which was also investigating this case together with the Cebu City Police, came to see me upon the instruction of his chief, PNP Supt. Napoleon Estilles, to request us to furnish them a copy of the cartographic sketch drawn by our artist of a person seen passing by the Global Village in the evening the victims disappeared based on the description given by Sheila Singson, a co-worker of Jacqueline;
26. Because the sketch was not so clear since the witness, Ms. Singson, could not give us a clear description, I told Inspector Acebedo to give us enough time to come up with a clear sketch based on the description of other witnesses before I would release a copy to them, and in the meantime, I informed Inspector Acevedo that we considered a certain Francisco Larraņaga as a possible suspect and because we lacked enough personnel, I requested him to place the house of Francisco Larraņaga under surveillance and list down all the motor vehicles seen in their house because there were several motor vehicles allegedly used in the abduction of the victims and Larraņaga's vehicle could possibly be one of those vehicles;
27. I was glad that initially the CIGD under Supt. Estilles wanted to cooperate with us in the investigation of this case because after all we had a common mission to solve the crime;
28. Before we could gather enough evidence to hold Jusman Aznar, one of those listed in the memorandum submitted to us by Supt. Enteria, for investigation, Inspector Paul Labra arrested Jusman Aznar as a principal suspect in the kidnapping of Jacqueline and Marijoy Chiong for having in his possession a pack of shabu and firearms.
29. Supt. Labra admitted to me that he arrested Jusman Aznar because he saw the list we requested from Senior Supt. Enteria showing the name of Jusman Aznar and he was convinced that the NBI was on the right track. Inspector Labra saw the list because he was then assigned to Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Division of the Cebu City police station under Chief Inspector Benjamin B. Miaga; in fact; Inspector Labra also arrested Walter De La Vega whose name also appeared in the list but was released for lack of evidence;
30. The arrest of Josman Aznar was the major breakthrough in the investigation of the case because witnesses came out and identified Jusman Aznar as one of those allegedly seen talking to the victims on the night they disappeared;
32. In my 38 years in law enforcement and until now, I have yet to meet a drug addict who is not a liar; thus, I asked Senior Supt. Alejandro Lapinid, the new Director of the Cebu City Police Station, to request Supt. Estilles to allow us to interview Rusia and subject him to a polygraph test because, after I interviewed the lessee of the house where the victims were allegedly raped, I found this allegation that the victims were raped in a house in Guadalupe, Cebu City to be unbelievable;
33. I interviewed Dogan Gurkan, a Turkish national and lessee of the house which he partitioned into several rooms for rent where the victims were allegedly sexually abused. He said a certain Edwin Bustillo was occupying one room and another was occupied by the Bustillo sisters and Maricar and Millany Tizon; he declared it was not possible that the rape could took place in his boarding house because the adjoining room of the Bustillo sisters was also occupied by a Canadian couple. Besides, his caretaker, Ms. Seno, was present at the time the incident allegedly happened and his boarding house was located in a densely populated area, which is true because I saw the place myself; therefore, there was more compelling reason to further interview Rusia and require him to undergo a polygraph test, a tool we usually used in aid of our investigation;
34. Incidentally, the US Supreme Court denied certiorari on all cases where the admissibility of polygraph results have been at issue, and US District Courts have admitted polygraph results in 9 of 11 Federal circuits. (p. 4, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, June 1980 Edition). Thus, I used polygraph in all major crimes I investigated and solved, and this investigative tool helped me a lot in ascertaining the truth. In fact, in the Judge Valdez murder case, after Blitz Najar, who was involved in the conspiracy and our principal witness, stated in his confession that he threw the death weapon, the Cal. 45 pistol, used in the killing somewhere in Allah river in Cotabato, I subjected him to a polygraph test to find out the truth and the examiner found him to be lying, and when I confronted him, he broke down and led us to the person to whom he sold the firearm, which we finally recovered and was proven to be the same firearm used in the killing as shown by the results of the ballistics examination;
35. Senior Supt. Lapinid, however, informed me that Supt. Estilles and City Prosecutor Miro would not allow us to interview Rusia and require him to undergo a polygraph examination.
36. Instead of allowing us to coordinate our efforts with them, as we usually did in the past with the prosecutors and the police, in solving crimes so that truth and justice shall prevail, City Prosecutor Miro not only shut us out of the investigation but also belittled our efforts when he made remarks in public that we did nothing in this case and gathered nothing to solve the crime, except that list of drug users we obtained from Senior Supt. Enteria, deliberately ignoring the fact that it was the theory and the work of the NBI that led to the major breakthrough in this investigation; in fact, Supt. Labra admitted to me that because he was convinced that we were on the right track, he arrested Jusman Aznar but I did not take this against him for preempting our next move to get Juzman Aznar as we were already placing him under surveillance because I know he did it in his honest desire to help solve the crime, and that was always our attitude in dealing with other agencies to avoid professional jealousy which would only jeopardize the success of our efforts in solving crimes;
38. Mrs. Chiong also promised the team of prosecutors created by Mr. Miro, namely: Asst. Prosecutors Duyongco, Galanida and Estrera to handle the prosecution in court, with promotions. In fact, Duyongco was promoted to the position of NBI regional director to take my place even if he was not qualified and because of this highly irregular appointment of Mr. Duyongco thru the intercession of Mrs. Chiong, my assistant, Atty. Ramon Barot, Jr., a career NBI Agent, who was supposed to be promoted to take my place upon my retirement, had to resign, and Asst. Prosecutors Galanida and Estrera were also promoted to the positions of RTC judges;
39. The controversial promotions of Prosecutor Miro and his assistant prosecutors met with serious public criticism. And it is most revealing and relevant to point out that in the Sept. 29, 2000 issue of the Sun Star Cebu daily, Judge Gabriel T. Ingles, former IBP President, Cebu City Chapter, and now a presiding Judge of branch 58 of the RTC in Cebu City, expressed his grave concern over the questionable promotions of Prosecutor Miro and his Assistants, thus: "Because of the admitted intervention of Mrs. Chiong, among others, the credibility of the JBC and the system enshrined in the Constitution is under a cloud of doubt." And in the editorials of the Sun Star, Mrs. Chiong and her sister, who was then the private Secretary of President Estrada, were named: "power brokers", photocopies of the news clippings are attached;
40. Mrs. Chiong, without knowing the progress of our investigation as we would usually keep it to us in all cases to prevent any premature disclosure to the public, was indifferent to us because of her mistaken belief that it was City Prosecutor Miro and Supt. Estilles, and not the NBI, who helped them in their quest for justice. But it is an irony that while Prosecutor Miro and his assistants are now enjoying their promotions, Jacquiline has remained missing until now as there was no thorough investigation conducted on this case all because Prosecutor Miro was in a hurry to file the case;
41. I received a subpoena ordering me to appear and testify but Asst. Prosecutor Galanida and Prosecutor Miro, who, was in control of the prosecution, objected to the move of Atty. Andales, one of the defense counsels, to present me as a witness during the trial of this case as shown in the transcript of the stenographic notes; hence, I was barred from testifying in this case. (pp. 39-45, tsn, Jan. 25, 1999, Criminal Case Nos. CBU-45303 & 45304 vs. Larraņaga, et al).
42. Asst. Prosecutor Galanida argued in effect that because "the NBI is not the lead agency of the Chiong sisters abduction case", I, or any of my agents, should not be allowed to testify. (p. 39, tsn, January 25, 1999). This is completely wrong because from the very beginning the NBI was the lead agency in the investigation of the case; in fact, our theory and initial findings were used by the police in pursuing their investigation.
43. Mr. Miro and Asst. Prosecutor Galanida, obviously motivated by their personal ambition to be promoted as promised by Mrs. Chiong, deliberately ignored the fact that
44. By preventing me, or any of my NBI Agents, from testifying in court in this case as shown from the transcript of records cited above, City Prosecutor Primo Miro, who was in control of his Assistant Prosecutors, absolutely violated Sec. (a) of Presidential Decree No. 1829 for obstruction of justice, which is very serious crime committed by a public official who is supposed to apply and enforce the law. And Mr. Miro, as a lawyer, also violated the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Canons of Professional Ethics for lack of "candor and fairness" which should characterize his conduct in dealing with us because we are also lawyers like him, and more so because we belonged to one department. (Canon 22, Canons of Professional Ethics); and
45. There is no substitute for legality in securing the evidence and thoroughness in the investigation of any criminal case, which are the main pillars in criminal investigation in our search for truth and justice, which we always observed in the conduct of our own investigation;
47. I am executing this affidavit because in my oath as a lawyer, it is my duty "to do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any" by any witness in order to prevent any miscarriage of justice, and further I am executing this affidavit to attest to the truth of the foregoing narration of facts;
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature this 27th day of February 2004, in Cebu City, Philippines.
signed: FLORENCIO O. VILLARIN
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 27th day of February 2004, in Cebu City, Philippines, affiant exhibited to me his Professional Tax Receipt No. 5632378 issued on Jan. 15, 2004 in Cebu City.
I hereby certify that I have personally examined the affiant and that I am convinced that he voluntarily executed his affidavit and understood the contents hereof.
Doc. No. 300 signed: ROLANDO A. NAVARRO
Page No. 61 NOTARY PUBLIC
Book No. XVI UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2005
Series of 2004 PTR - 2947328, I-8-04, Cebu City
1. RED COLOR OURS FOR EMPHASIS.
LIST OF DRUG USERS
01. David XXXXX
-son of Atty. Luis XXXX
Note: The above-mentioned persons frequenting Padis Point and Ayala Center.
(Note: Family names crossed out to protect their privacy..... the webmaster)
RED COLOR OURS FOR EMPHASIS.
2. THE ABOVE TEXT IS THE FAITHFUL REPRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL
DOCUMENT REFORMATTED FOR CLEARER APPRECIATION.