Bohol First District Representative Rene L. Relamoagos sought yesterday the modernization of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) by providing funds for the training of its personnel, acquisition of â€œstate-of-the-artâ€ systems, investigative and intelligence equipment, and establishment of forensic and scientific laboratories to make it more responsive to the demands of time.
Relampagos, co-author of the â€œNational Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Actâ€, said it is high time for the countryâ€™s main investigation body to be updated to modern standards in order to adequately meet the increasing demands of an expanded investigative and detective work.
â€œThe NBI shall implement a modernization program geared towards the acquisition of state-of-the-art systems and procedures, investigative and intelligence equipment and the establishment of forensic and scientific laboratories to aid our agents in solving investigations more efficiently,â€ Relampagos stressed.
The program, according to the lawmaker, shall include provisions for the training of its personnel as well as the restructuring of the present organizational structure of the NBI from the Office of the Director to the Administration department.
Relampagos also seeks to make the responsibilities and functions of each officer or staff clearly defined to avoid overlapping of duties.
â€œOnce passed into law, this measure will address the need for the state to arrest the wave of crimes that continue to escalate in magnitude and intensity.â€
Under the proposed measure, the NBI will be given more funds to upgrade their systems and investigation equipment. Thirty (30) percent of their collections from clearance fees will also be retained by the agency to purchase or upgrade their equipment. Additional funding will also be given to the office in the coming fiscal years.
The new bill also sets the priorities of the NBI, in this order: man trafficking; extra-judicial killings; violations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act; cases referred by the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council; violations of the Anti-Dummy Law; cases involving the President, Vice-President, Senate President, House Speaker, and Chief Justice; cases involving syndicates; identification of dead and victims of natural disasters; and commercial, economic, and financial crimes.
Relampagos noted that NBI agents will be given a P4,000 monthly hazard pay to compensate for risks encountered in the line of duty subject to the review of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
The present NBI director, Atty. Virgilio Mendez, hails from Bohol. He was the NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services (NBI-DDROS) before his appointment. A native of Bayongan, San Miguel, Bohol, Atty. Mendez has received various commendations for the arrests of suspects in high-profile cases, including the Kristelle â€œKaeâ€ Davantes murder and the fatal shooting of former Lingayen Vice Mayor Ramon Arcinue and his wife last year. He was also responsible for the solution of and the filing of charges in the bombing of an LRT train in Manila on Rizal Day in 2000.