Sep 052013

Two ranking officials of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have not submitted their courtesy resignations, despite calls from Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for deputy directors with “trust and integrity issues” to resign out of delicadeza.

De Lima said this is the situation after emerging from a meeting with NBI Deputy Directors Reynaldo Esmeralda (Intelligence Service) and Ruel Lasala (Special Investigation Services) late Thursday afternoon.

Esmeralda and Lasala had requested the meeting with De Lima, following the resignation of NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas.

Earlier, allegations surfaced that two of Rojas’ subordinates tipped off pork barrel fund scam suspect Janet Lim Napoles about an arrest warrant against her.

De Lima then revealed that “three to four” of the six NBI directors have “trust and integrity issues,” as she appealed to them to resign out of delicadeza.

Apart from Esmeralda and Lasala, the remaining NBI deputy directors are Rickson Chiong (Technical Services), Edmundo Arugay (Administrative Services),  Virgilio Mendez (Regional Operation Services), and Rafael Ragos (Comptroller Services).

De Lima had already cleared Mendez in the controversy, while Arugay had earlier tendered a courtesy resignation.

“I don’t think they are willing to submit courtesy resignations… They explained why and therefore I cannot compel them to submit their courtesy resignation,” said De Lima, explaining that resignations of presidential appointees, like NBI deputy directors, whether courtesy or not are supposed to be voluntary.

De Lima said Esmeralda and Lasala gave her an explanation why they did not want to resign, but De Lima refused to share it to the media.

De Lima said the two NBI officials “defended” themselves and stood pat in denying they had anything to do with the supposed leaking of information to Napoles.

“They also expressed disappointments, yung kanilang misgivings na kung bakit nagkakaroon ng mga ganitong issue,” De Lima said.

“Sabi nila they can feel na mukhang sila ang pinapatamaan, silang dalawa. Sinabi lang nila iyon. They can feel daw. and some people told them na baka silang dalawa iyon na pinapatamaan,” she added.

De Lima said Esmeralda expressed willingness to be investigated, but she said she still has yet to decide if indeed such a probe is needed.

“Kasi ako nga sabi ko may suspetsa ako na meron nag-leak. Pero kung sino talaga ang nag-leak, di ko pa yan alam so I’m not pointing to them… to these deputy directors,” she said.

Despite the two NBI officials insistence on staying put in their posts, De Lima reminded them that they can still be replaced if they are not career executive service officers (CESO).

De Lima added that she is now more focused on either trying to convince Rojas not to give up his most or looking for a qualified replacement for him.

De Lima added that she was still waiting if the other remaining deputy directors would be a requesting a similar meeting with her.

Napoles is detained in Laguna on allegations she illegally detained Benhur Luy, a whistleblower and an employee in her JLN Corp which is said to be behind the illegal diversion of public funds, including pork barrel funds, to non-existent foundations.  — ELR, GMA News

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