NBI agent accused of punching QC fiscal
Sandy Araneta, Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent allegedly beat up a prosecutor at the Quezon City justice hall Wednesday night.

Assistant City Prosecutor Benjamin Samson said the one who punched him in the face was among the 10 men who went to the hall of justice at past 11 p.m. Sources at the NBI identified him as Special Investigator Roel Jovenir, 50, assigned at the agency’s Technical Intelligence Division.

According to police, the group of men went to the justice hall with suspects in tow, supposedly to have them undergo inquest proceedings. It was not clear what the arrested persons had done.

Security guards told the NBI agents there was no prosecutor on duty to conduct the inquest proceedings. At that time, Samson was entering the building to get his ticket for a scheduled flight.

Quezon City Police District Station 10 commander Superintendent Marcelino Pedrozo Jr. said Samson introduced himself and explained that the shift of the inquest fiscal at night was only from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. One of the men – described to be of heavy build, about 5’7” in height, in his late 30s, and dark-skinned – punched Samson.

As this was happening, the other men “surrounded” the three security guards at the building. After this, the NBI agents left the building and boarded their vehicles.

The security guards failed to take note what kind of vehicles these were but managed to get their plate numbers. One was a private vehicle with plate number BEG-961. Another was a government vehicle with the red plate number TSM-777. The third vehicle had the marking “Security Management Division NBI.”

The police have asked the Land Transportation Office for the registration records of these license plates.

Another version

Jovenir was advised by his superiors not to talk to anyone regarding the incident, pending the results of an investigation by the agency.

Two sources said at around 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jovenir and several TID agents brought some suspects to the justice hall to have them undergo inquest proceedings but found out no prosecutor was on duty after 11 p.m.

Jovenir reportedly got into an argument with an unidentified security guard. Jovenir, who apparently led the team of agents, urged the guard to sign documents they brought in order to put it on legal record that the agents tried to have the suspects undergo inquest proceedings but were not allowed since the prosecutor’s office of Quezon City closed after 11 p.m.

Minutes later, the Quezon City prosecutor arrived and joined the argument until it escalated into a fight. The prosecutor claimed he was punched. NBI sources said Jovenir told his superiors there was no punch – he accidentally hit his hand on the prosecutor’s face.

The sources said that if Jovenir, a six-foot-tall man with a muscular physique, was to punch the prosecutor, the agent would have knocked him down and sent him to the hospital.

NBI Director Nonnatus Caesar Rojas expressed disappointment that such an incident happened. “Jovenir is now facing administrative proceedings,” he said and assured the Quezon City prosecutor’s office that the NBI will fully cooperate in the investigation.

He has also ordered the NBI’s Internal Affairs Division to conduct its own probe of the incident.

 

A NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ASSISTANT CITY PROSECUTOR BENJAMIN SAMSON DIRECTOR NONNATUS CAESAR ROJAS INTERNAL AFFAIRS DIVISION JOVENIR LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE NBI PROSECUTOR QUEZON CITY QUEZON CITY POLICE DISTRICT STATION SECURITY MANAGEMENT DIVISION
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