Retired cop complains about NBI records keeping

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Saturday, April 9, 2011


CEBU CITY (Updated 6:50 p.m.) -- A retired police officer in the US who is now living in the Philippines is lamenting the records keeping system at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Central Visayas.

The system, said Bingen Mendezona, who now does private consulting work involving security, prejudices people who share the same name as people that have criminal records by declining their application for an NBI clearance, a requirement for jobseekers.

"Then, to add insult to injury, you are asked to clear your name," said the one-time police training consultant to the Cebu City Government, adding that people who draw a "hit" get told to come back with proof that they and the person with the record are not one and the same.

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Moreover, he added, the problem has been there for a long time and still has not been fixed.

His is a case in point, Mendezona said.

He recalled having applied for an NBI clearance during the directorship of Reynaldo Wycoco, some half a decade ago, and got a "hit." Now, after clearing himself in that mess, Mendezona said he still gets a "hit" whenever he applies for a clearance.

With established rules on "burden of proof," Mendezona said people should not be the ones required by the NBI to clear themselves when they happen to share the same name as a person that has a criminal record.

"You, NBI, put it on your system, now you prove that the person you identified as having some hit is me," he said.

"If it is me, then you take action. If it's not me, then clear my name and stop accusing me of having a hit, because you are being a hindrance to my ability to conduct myself as a lawful citizen," he stressed.

Or, at the very least, people who've already cleared themselves should be taken off the list and not have to face the same problem the next time they apply for an NBI clearance.

The NBI records division processes thousands of NBI clearance applications every day.

At NBI-Central Visayas, new applications are processed at the regional office but renewal applications may be submitted to the satellite offices in Cebu City and in Talisay City.

But, whether new applications or renewal, if the applicant draws a hit, the applicant is still required to go to the NBI regional office for interview with an agent or special investigator.

In some cases, the applicant is asked to come with documents like a clearance from the municipal or regional trial court, showing that the applicant has no pending criminal case. (KNR/Sun.Star Cebu)

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