De Lima to revoke NBI-SMD’s authority to issue mission order

January 3, 2012 10:25 am 

MANILA, Jan. 2 — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila De Lima said on Monday she would revoke the authority of the Chief of the Security Management Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-SMD) to issue mission order and the permission to carry firearms of the non-organic agents.

The NBI, which is the Philippines’ premier investigating body, is an attached agency of the DOJ.

The decision of the DOJ chief was prompted by allegations in an extortion case filed by a Japanese national against some officials of the SMD.

De Lima immediately ordered an investigation and designated a panel of prosecutors on the alleged extortion case.

Investigation showed that some 30 non-organic personnel were allegedly involved in the operation of abducting Noriyo Ohara in Pangasinan province.

Mario Garcia, the chief of the SMD, was allegedly involved in the extortion case.

Garcia was relieved from his post by NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula.

Both Garcia and Gatdula were also investigated by the panel.

Meantime, De Lima said they had been expecting the dismissal of the rebellion charges against the members of the Ampatuan clan.

The DOJ chief explained that they were not really very much focused on the rebellion case against the Ampatuans.

She said they are more focused on the multiple murder charges against the Ampatuans in connection with the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre.

The massacre claimed the lives of 57 civilians, including 15 women and 30 media practitioners, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

Earlier, the Court of Appeals (CA) exonerated former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan and several others in the rebellion charges. (PNA)

DCT/scs/PTR/utb

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