JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II issued Friday a memorandum prohibiting the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) from carrying out anti-narcotics operations.

On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he will not allow the NBI to conduct drug-related operations in the light of its agents alleged involvement in the Jee Ick-joo kidnap-slay case.

In the memorandum dated February 3 signed by Aguirre, the Justice Secretary particularly ordered the suspension of Department Order 554.

"In compliance with the earlier pronouncement of President Duterte, I have signed Memorandum Circular No.005, placing Department Order No. 554, dated August 25, 2016, in a state of indefinite suspension," Aguirre said.

The order, issued by the DOJ Secretary on August 25, 2016 after he assumed office had given the NBI agents authority to probe and conduct case build up on drug-related cases.

With the elimination of their task to handle drug cases, Justice Secretary Aguirre said the DOJ and one of its attached agencies— the NBI, can now focus on its war against corruption and criminality.

"The DOJ and the NBI will now focus its energy and resources in waging war against corruption and in waging war against criminality," Aguirre said.

Duterte in his speech last Thursday said he will not allow the Philippine National Police and the NBI to be part of his administration's all out war against drugs.

This was after his trust in both agencies eroded after some of its officials were tagged in the abduction and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo.

Duterte instead ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to probe cases falling under Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (SunStar Philippines)