THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that it will no longer engage in the investigation of small-time operations but instead focus on high-profile cases.

NBI Director Magtangol Gatdula said local operations against illegal vices and ordinary crimes should be left to the jurisdiction of the Philippine National Police, unless it asked for the bureau's assistance.

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"We have to bring back the NBI to its old glory. We have to focus on high-profile cases and big cases that required the expertise of lawyers. The NBI will no longer conduct raids on night club and the talents and expertise of the agents, lawyers should not be wasted," Gatdula said.

He said he will give priority to media killings, extra-judicial executions and enforced disappearances, which had been prevalent during the previous administration.

Specifically, he said he would create a "death" investigation division, parallel to the homicide division of the Philippine National Police, a sort of a task force that would investigate media killings.

The "death" investigation division will continue to monitor, conduct in-depth investigation and arrest suspects at all levels the cases involving killings of media professionals in the country as well as extrajudicial killings.

"We are still in the process to create the death investigation division to focus on summary killings. It will focus on cases of media and extra-judicial killings."

Among the cases that Gatdula would give priority to include the tracking down of Senator Panfilo Lacson, who stood charged with two counts of murder in connection with the November 2000 killing of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel.

The NBI is also involved with the investigation of the "Hello Nico" controversy and other election-related anomalies, on top of the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre and human trafficking cases. (JCV/Sunnex)