Lacierda: Palace still has trust in resigned NBI chief

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NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Monday that Malacañang still has trust in National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) director Nonnatus Caesar R. Rojas who submitted an irrevocable resignation earlier in the day.

“Yes,” replied Lacierda when asked if the Palace shared Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s trust in the resigned NBI head.

“In the report of the Inquirer, the institution is not the problem. There are some, in their words, who are less trustworthy. Director Nonie Rojas has achieved a lot which is why in our view, Secretary Leila de Lima’s recommendation to reject his resignation is justified, “said Lacierda.

Lacierda said the President has taken no action on his resignation and that Rojas has continued with the case build-up of ongoing investigations.

“A number of investigations, a number of reports have been initiated under his watch. You’ve got the Atimonan (shootout/rubout case); you’ve got the Balintang Channel report (the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Coast Guard members), some other reports. And also, there are a number of sensitive cases that are being handled by Director Nonie Rojas, coming from Secretary Leila de Lima,” said Lacierda in a briefing.

Rojas resigned days after President Aquino told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an exclusive interview that he kept the NBI in the dark about the surrender of Janet Lim Napoles — the businesswoman believed to be the chief operator of a scam to divert lawmakers’ pork barrel allocations to private accounts — because he believed there were moles in the agency leaking information to people who might want Napoles dead.

Napoles is now being detained at the Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, after she was charged with serious illegal detention for allegedly abducting her former aide Benhur Luy, who knew a lot about the pork barrel diversion scam involving a network of fake nongovernment organizations. Luy is now in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation, standing as a state witness in the case being built up by the NBI on the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

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