THE case against an agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) accused of extorting P500,000 from a gun collector whose house in Cebu City was raided by NBI operatives two years ago have been dropped.
Arnel Pura was cleared of criminal and administrative charges filed before the Office of Ombudsman in the Visayas by Robert Nicholas Sembrano Granthom.
In her decision, Graft investigator Marie Fe Francis Seville-Ang said there was no probable cause to indict Pura.
In ordering the dismissal of the administrative complaint for grave misconduct against Pura, the graft investigator said “the respondent was able to refute the allegations in the complaint. There was no transgression of some established and definite rule of action, unlawful behavior or gross negligence.”
NBI agents seized several firearms when they raided Granthom’s house in Ranudo Street, Cebu City on Sept. 22, 2012.
Granthom filed a complaint against Pura for violation of Section 29 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, extortion, perjury and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices.
Granthom alleged that Pura approached him a day after the raid and informed him that three plastic sachets and a plastic spoon with traces of cocaine were recovered from his possession.
Granthom alleged that the NBI agent tried to extort P500,000 from him in exchange for the dropping of the case.
Granthom also accused Pura of planting evidence against him and then filing illegal drug charges when he failed to produce the money.
In his counter-affidavit, Pura asked graft investigators not to believe Granthom because of his tainted credibility.
Pura said Granthom had derogatory records in the US which included motor vehicle theft, driving under the influence of alcohol/drug, carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and possession of controlled substances for sale.
Pura said Granthom had been previously charged with malicious mischief, attempted homicide and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
In dismissing the cases against Pura, Seville-Ang said the accusation that Pura planted evidence against Granthom “is pure canard.”
“Jurisprudence abounds that frame-up or planting of evidence is a common standard line of defense in prosecutions or violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act which should be viewed with extreme caution,” said Seville-Ang./CORRESPONDENT EDISON A. DELOS ANGELES