Thursday, November 08, 2007

Whistleblower Vidal Doble charged with wiretapping

From the Tribune:

Government prosecutors have decided to throw the book at former military intelligence officer-turned whistle-blower T/Sgt. Vidal Doble Jr.

The Department of Justice (DoJ), in a statement yesterday, said it has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to file criminal charges against Doble for violations of Republic Act (RA) 4200, or the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor said the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office has already assigned a team of prosecutors to handle the investigation into the complaint.

The directive to the NBI came following a report submitted by NBI Deputy Director for Intelligence lawyer Ruel Lasala.

The NBI has been directed to charge Doble before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office based on a complaint-affidavit submitted by NBI head agent Regner Peneza, chief of the Counter-Intelligence Division, that the former agent is liable for violation of Sections 1 and 2 of RA 4200.

In his two-page affidavit-complaint, Peneza said the offenses involved incidents and admissions allegedly made by Doble on Sept. 7, 17, 25 and Oct. 1, 2007.

Peneza revealed in the hearings conducted by the Senate joint committees on national defense and security, accountability of public officers and investigation and constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws that the former agent of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) described acts which the DoJ said were in violation of the wiretapping law.

Among the actions Doble allegedly committed was when admitted monitoring, taping and transcribing conversations of particular cellular phones from Sept. 3, 2003 to April 2005.

Doble is also being charged for reducing to tape recordings and compact discs the monitored conversations and that he gave some master tapes to a certain Angelito Santiago.

It was Santiago who, in turn, handed the tapes to former NBI Deputy Director for Intelligence Samuel Ong.

Doble also admitted having received P2 million for the tapes.

On Sept. 3, 2007, Peneza was ordered by acting deputy director for intelligence lawyer Edward Villarta to monitor the proceedings at the Senate, especially those that have bearing on violations of criminal laws.

“Due to wide publicity on the alleged wiretapping activities, the bureau took interest in intently monitoring the hearings of the committees, where Doble, under oath, testified in detail on the alleged wiretapping he conducted,” the Justice department stressed.

There were no indications yet on whether Doble would be charged for his allegedly womanizing, which was also revealed before the Senate hearing which also uncovered Doble’s presence at the Solid Mills building in Makati City in 2000, when he was with the now-defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force.

After two years in hiding, the former Isafp agent surfaced last August and testified before the Senate the wiretapped conversations between President Arroyo and former Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, apparently to ensure Mrs. Arroyo of victory in the 2004 presidential elections.

UPDATE: Ping Lacson's blog comments.

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