De Lima names temporary NBI chief-A A +A
Friday, September 27, 2013
(UPDATED) The number two man in the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will head the agency for the meantime.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima designated Assistant Director Medardo de Lemos as officer-in-charge on Wednesday, according to Department Order 712, which was released to media on Friday.
"Such designation shall be in addition to his existing duties and responsibilities as NBI Assistant Director, but shall not include the power to act on matters involving policy determination, the approval of long-term contracts and transactions, the appointment or dismissal of personnel, and other acts that go beyond acts of mere supervision or administration, or which, by their nature, are essentially within the authority of the Secretary of Justice," the order stated.
De Lemos’ appointment came three weeks after then NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas resigned due to health concerns.
But reports said Rojas’ decision to quit was also influenced by President Benigno Aquino III’s disappointment over two ranking NBI officials who allegedly leaked the arrest warrant to supposed pork barrel scam architect Janet Napoles.
Napoles hid from authorities for two weeks only to surrender to Aquino in Malacañang on August 28. She is accused, along with her brother Reynald Lim, of detaining former personal assistant-turned-whistleblower Benhur Luy for three months.
De Lemos led the NBI in filing the complaints before the Ombudsman against Napoles, lawmakers, government officials and private individuals allegedly involved in the diversion of priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to Napoles’ bogus foundations.
He has been with the NBI for 28 years.
Deputy Directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Virgilio Mendez hailed de Lima's choice.
"It highlights professionalism and career development of people who works from the ranks," said Esmeralda in a text message.
De Lemos is a previous director of the NBI in Bicol and Central Visayas and the first head of the Intellectual Property Rights and Special Task Force, which helped the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in running after the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)