Nobleza was a good cop, says PNP Bicol chief

NAGA CITY, Philippines (Bicol Standard) – “She was a good and effective police officer.»

This is what Philippine National Police (PNP) Bicol Chief Superintendent Melvin Buenafe said when asked about Superintendent Maria Cristina Brugada-Nobleza in an interview with the Bicol Standard on Wednesday morning.

Nobleza, whose nickname is «Tintin,» is the police officer who was arrested over the weekend on suspicion that they were about to rescue the remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits in the town of Clarin, Bohol.

«That is my personal impression about her (Nobleza) during the time when she was assigned here at the Camarines Sur PNP Provincial Police Office. She was at the crime lab when we investigated the celebrated Manhon murder case at Barangay Concepcion Grande. I can still recall that she was very dedicated to her work,” Buenafe added.

Nobleza is a Bicolana who hails from the town of Tinambac, Camarines Sur.

Buenafe and Nobleza share the same hometown.

The police source added that Nobleza’s father was brutally killed by alleged members of the sparrow unit of the New People’s Army.

She has two brothers who both enlisted in the Philippine Army but one of them already resigned from the service.

“She comes from a family of good reputation. They are known in Tinambac for their being respectful and law-abiding citizens,” a resident of Barangay Mananao, Tinambac, said.

“She (Nobleza) studied at the Naga College Foundation (NCF) and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Her ambition was to be a police officer. Upon passing the police board exams, she immediately applied and was accepted as a police officer, via lateral entry,” a retired police officer said.

Nobleza was first assigned at the crime laboratory at the Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office where she met her future husband, Allan Nobleza, who was a junior officer then.

Her husband Police Senior Superintendent Allan Nobleza, who is also a Bicolano, is the country’s police attache to Pakistan.

He grew up in San Juan, Libmanan, Camarines and studied high school at Colegio del Santisimo Rosario in the said town. He finished college at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).

At the time she was arrested in the town of Clarin, Bohol during the weekend, it was reported that she was with Renierlo Dongon, an alleged Abu Sayyaf member, whom she met when the latter was detained last 2013 for double murder.

An informant of the Bicol Standard said that the last time he met Nobleza and Dongon was in Naga City in 2013.

“I had a short conversation with her (Nobleza). She confirmed to me that she was doing intelligence work for the government,” the informant, a retired police officer from Tinambac, said.

Asked if Nobleza’s marital relationship has been severed already, he said, all he knew is that not too long ago, she, together with her two children visited Allan in his assignment in Karachi, Pakistan, he said.

Regarding her conversion to the Islam faith, he confirmed that it is true. But, it was only about a year ago when Nobleza embraced her new faith.

“Brugada-Nobleza and I were both assigned as members of the peacekeeping force in East Timor. I know her personally as an intelligent person. She is brave, daring and adventurous. She was an effective intelligence officer. But, this was before this news report broke out regarding her alleged involvement with the Abu Sayyaf issue. I really don’t know now,” he added.

Nobleza, 49, and Dongon, who is in his 20s, were caught in Bohol after she tried to drive past a checkpoint on Saturday. It was alleged in the report that they were about to rescue the remaining members of the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol.

Based on reports, they are lovers.

“I felt bad when I heard the news about the alleged involvement of my daughter in the Abu Sayyaf,” said Rosenda Brugada, mother of Maria Cristina Brugada-Nobleza, when interviewed by the media today.

“My daughter and her husband have been separated for almost four years now.”

The mother said her daughter should not be judged by the media reports that she has an intimate relationship with the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

“I want an impartial investigation first. I demand a fair hearing and trial so that the truth would come out,” she emphasized.

Meanwhile, in a news report, Nobleza and Dongon are said to be not just lovers.

They were allegedly married in a Muslim rite several years ago, according to Chief Superintendent Noli Talino, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas.

Dongon admitted that he and Nobleza are married, since the latter had converted herself to Islam.

Nobleza was previously married to Allan of Libmanan, Camarines Sur.

In 2010, however, her marriage to Allan was annulled by the court, the report said.

Melissa Basmayor is the editor-in-chief of the Bicol Standard, a regional partner of Philstar.com.

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