Philippines anti-crime head Magtanggol Gatdula sacked

The head of the top Philippines police investigation unit has been dismissed over his alleged involvement in a kidnap and extortion case.

Magtanggol Gatdula could face charges over the 2010 abduction of Noriyo Ohara, a Japanese woman.

He was the chief of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and officials claim he knew of the plot to detain Ms Ohara and extort money.

Ten other senior agents were also alleged to have been involved.

Mr Gatdula has been on a voluntary leave of absence since late last year and appears to have made no public comment on the allegations.

Ms Ohara was staying in the Philippines illegally while on the run from Japanese gangsters, who were apparently pursuing her after she inherited a large amount of money, media reports say.

According to an NBI inquiry, NBI officers extorted about 6m pesos ($139,000) from Ms Ohara's host family for her release.

The internal inquiry said that Mr Gatdula knew about the plot and helped cover up the crime afterwards, according Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

"The [investigating] panel made recommendations for the filing of administrative and criminal charges [against] the NBI director himself who based on testimony, had personal knowledge of the crime," Ms de Lima is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.