De Lima asks NBI deputies to resign

NBI Deputy Director Edmundo Arugay tenders his courtesy resignation

RESIGN. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima appealed to some NBI Deputy Directors with trust issues to tender their courtesy resignations. File photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The integrity of at least 3 deputy directors of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are being questioned after they have been constantly linked to irregular activity.

On Tuesday, September 3, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima appealed to 3 to 4 officials to resign out of delicadeza. She did not reveal their identities but clarified none of them are working on the Napoles case.

The NBI is under the Department of Justice.

Her statement comes days after President Benigno Aquino III told the Philippine Daily Inquirer certain individuals in the NBI are “less trustworthy” than others and a day after NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas submitted his irevocable resignation.

As of publication time, at least one deputy director had resigned, said De Lima.

NBI Deputy Director for Administrative Services Edmundo Arugay tendered a courtesy resignation Tuesday, effective Sept 14. Arugay is currently on an official mission abroad.

De Lima said if the deputy directors refuse to resign, she said she will find a way to remove them from the agency and could be removed by the President himself if they are not Career Executive Services Officers (CESO), a rank that secures tenure.

The NBI has 6 Deputy Directors. De Lima said Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services Virgilio Mendez was not one of the 3-4 officials with “trust issues.”

Mendez led the probes into high-profile cases such as the Atimonan ambush and the Taiwanese fisherman’s killing.

Spotlight on NBI

But De Lima clarified her priority right now is to persuade Rojas to stay in the agency. Earlier, the Secretary recommended that President Benigno Aquino III reject his resignation.

The NBI is in the middle of building a case against Janet Lim Napoles and lawmakers for the misuse of their pork barrel. De Lima said because of Rojas’ resignation, the filing of the cases could be slightly delayed.

De Lima and the NBI have been feeling the pressure in recent weeks to hasten the probe into Napoles and politicians following national uproar over an alleged multi-billion pork barrel scam, which facilitated the pocketing of government funds.

The NBI was also slammed for their earlier failure to capture Napoles, who was evading arrest for a separate illegal detention case before she surrendered to the President on August 28. De Lima said Napoles was tipped off about her warrant of arrest, allowing her to escape.

Napoles is now detained at Fort Sto Domingo, Sta Rosa, Laguna, training camp of the Special Action forces of the Philippine National Police. – Rappler.com

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