A surprised look was all suspended police Supt. Ma Cristina Nobleza could give to local media during her scheduled arraignment before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court in Tubigon on Tuesday.
The suspected Abu Sayyaf-linked police official’s eyes grew wide as she was asked about her thoughts on Pres. Duterte’s threat to have traitors of the state hanged, apparently hearing it for the first time.
Nobleza and husband Renierlo Dongon for the first time were let out of Camp Crame in Quezon City and faced the public since they were detained and moved there from Tagbilaran City in late April.
The transfer was carried out after Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa tagged both as “high-risk detainees.”
Nobleza who pleaded not guilty to an obstruction of justice charge further drew the ire of Duterte as a money trail was allegedly traced from abroad to the suspended cop.
“The name of that woman, Nobleza, always crops up. The cop was a recipient of huge cash from a group that is part of the terror groups fighting in the Middle East. She is really the lady that is a traitor to her country,” Duterte said in a press briefing in Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday.
In an earlier statement, Duterte had already accused Nobleza of being a recipient of money from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.
“She was an active player in the terrorism business,” Duterte said during the celebration of the Philippine Navy’s 119th anniversary in Davao City.
Nobleza, who was a part of the Philippine Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) under the previous administration, was arrested with Dongon in Barangay, Bacani Clarin on April 22.
They were flagged down on board a Nissan Navarra while they were allegedly attempting to rescue Abu Sayyaf stragglers who survived the gun battle in Inabanga which erupted two weeks prior to the arrest.
Nobleza and Dongon arrived at the Tagbilaran City airport at 8:55 a.m. yesterday and proceeded to Tubigon for their arraignment.
They were flown back to Metro Manila and transported back to the PNP headquarters immediately after. (A. Doydora)