Aguilar’s defender is Montalba: Lawyer

Culled from Gold Star Daily

THE lawyer of controversial Supt. Antonio Montalba in his illegal gambling complaint against broadcasters of radio station DxCC is the same attorney defending self-confessed ‘‘video karera’’ collector and suspected gunman Bernardo ‘‘Nanding’’ Aguilar.

Montalba pressed charges against DxCC broadcasters––Rey Maraunay, Jun Estanio, Jao Gumapac and Nilo Labares––early this week, accusing them of receiving bribes from a gambling ring and of serving as protectors of illegal gambling operations.

The police official’s move came after DxCC repeatedly broadcast a list of suspected gambling operators and their alleged protectors here. It listed Montalba as a suspected operator, an allegation the superintendent denied.

Montalba told The Gold Star Daily that Eliazer Boycillo is serving as his lawyer for the illegal gambling case against the broadcasters.

Boycillo is defending Aguilar, the suspected triggerman in the March 5 shooting of broadcaster Labares. Labares is one of those charged by Montalba for violation of a law against illegal gambling.

Aguilar was identified by the wounded Labares as the triggerman. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) pressed charges against four others but prosecutors decided to file a case only against Aguilar after weighing the evidence.

Aguilar has confessed to being a technician for machines used in illegal gambling. In an affidavit, Aguilar also admitted to be working for Baby Chang as a collector. (Chang’s first name was spelled ‘‘Bebe’’ in an earlier affidavit signed by self-confessed ‘‘video karera’’ collector Felizer Caitor.)

This paper double-checked and asked Montalba if his attorney against the DxCC broadcasters is the same person lawyering for Aguilar. He confirmed it.

Senior Supt. Noel Armilla, city police director, told The Gold Star Daily that the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) was not responsible for Montalba’s decision to press illegal gambling charges against the DxCC broadcasters.

‘‘Anyone can file a case like that,’’ said Armilla. ‘‘It’s just him (Montalba) and Cocpo does not have anything to do with it. He’s acting on his own.’’

Armilla said he was not privy to Montalba’s choice of a lawyer for his case against the broadcasters.

Maraunay, DxCC’s program director and one of the respondents in Montalba’s case, said he and the other broadcasters already received a subpoena. Maraunay said they were given 10 days to answer Montalba’s accusations.

Aside from anti-illegal gambling charges, Montalba said he was also bent on pressing libel charges against DxCC broadcasters who identified him as a suspected operator of video machines used for illegal gambling. Two other police officials, Chief Insps. Bernardo Mendoza and Danildo Tumanda, have made similar threats.

Montalba said Jose Pallugna would serve as his lawyer against the DxCC broadcasters in connection with the impending libel case.

Maraunay called Montalba’s complaint filed before the prosecutor’s office as ‘‘harassment.’’

“‘Video karera’ has been here even when he (Montalba) was officer-in-charge of the Cocpo during the Emano administration. He has done nothing,” Maraunay said.

He said Montalba’s lawsuit was meant to cover up the extent of the illegal gambling operations in the city.

“What has he done to stop the ollegal operations? And now, he is blaming members of the media and accusing them as the protectors. Where is justice?” asked Maraunay rhetorically.

He said he and the other broasdcasters would submit to an investigation.

‘‘Our conscience is clear,’’ he said. ‘‘We started this, we will finish this. Let’s see where this would bring us.’’

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