The Department of Justice filed criminal charges before the Manila City Regional Trial Court against the chief of the National Bureau of Investigation-Legal Assistance Section Joshua Paul Capiral and his brother for allegedly extorting money from some of the accused in the so-called “pastillas” scam in exchange for clearing their names.
The DOJ accused Capiral and his brother Christopher John Chua of violating Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code for robbery (extortion); Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Acts for giving “unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”
The NBI official was also charged with violation of Section 7 (b) (2) or R.A. 6713 otherwise known as Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Section 7(b) (2) of R.A. 6713 prohibits ant public official and employee from having financial or material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of their office.
On the other hand, the DOJ recommended the conduct of a preliminary investigation against the respondents on the complaint for violations of Section 3 (h) and (k) of R.A. No. 3019 and violation of Section 7 (c) (1) and 2 of R.A. No. 6713.
Section 3 (h) and (k) of R.A. 3019 prohibit government officials and employees from having directly or indirect financial interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity and from divulging valuable information of a confidential character, acquired by his office, respectively.
Section 7 ( c ) (1) and 2 of R.A. No. 6713 prohibits the disclosure and/or misuse of confidential information by public officials to further their private interests or give undue advantage to anyone and to prejudice public interest.
The Capiral brothers were charged based on the complaint filed by BI personnel Jeffrey Dale Salameda Ignacio, who is being linked in the pastillas scheme and the NBI-Special Action Unit, represented by Special Investigator Joel Otic, are named as complainants against the brothers.
Ignacio was among the 19 BI personnel who were earlier charged by the NBI before the Ombudsman for their involvement in the illegal practice.
The “pastillas” scheme allows the smooth entry of Chinese nationals, who were about to be employed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO), in exchange for money.
Each arriving Chinese national reportedly paid an additional P10,000 service fee, of which the P2,000 is divided among officials from the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit, duty Immigration supervisor and terminal heads.
The money-making scheme was called “pastillas” because the grease money given to Immigration personnel were rolled in white paper similar to the sweet delicacy.
The brothers were arrested last week by the NBI agents during an entrapment operation while receiving marked money from Ignacio amounting to P200,000.
The two have reportedly been extorting money from BI personnel being linked in the pastillas scheme in exchange of fixing the cases against them.