Latest Stories

Rojas not included in ongoing NBI purge

By ,

The real “rats” in the National Bureau of Investigation, not resigned NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas, are apparently still gnawing their way deep into the agency.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who has supervision over the NBI, said she would ask all six deputy directors of the agency to submit resignation letters, hoping to get rid of four of them that she said she wanted out because of “trust and integrity” issues.

De Lima declined to elaborate on what these issues were, but she said the four NBI officials were not involved in the ongoing investigation of the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly involving Janet Lim-Napoles and several lawmakers.

The four deputy directors, however, had been linked to “alleged illicit and irregular activities” though there had been “no concrete proof” to pin them down, De Lima said.

Should these deputy directors cling to their posts, De Lima said replacing them would be easy since they were not career executive service officers protected by security of tenure.

De Lima demanded the resignations after Rojas on Monday quit out of delicadeza (propriety) as NBI chief in reaction to statements made by President Aquino that rats in the NBI tipped off Napoles about her pending arrest.

De Lima said Rojas’ irrevocable resignation, which a Palace spokesperson said President Aquino had yet to act upon, offered her the chance to do some housecleaning at the NBI.

Mendez, Arugay

While De Lima demanded the resignation letters of all six officials, however, she was particular about one that she wanted to stay put—Virgilio Mendez, NBI deputy director for regional operation service.

As of late afternoon yesterday, only Edmundo Arugay, NBI deputy director for administrative service, had submitted a resignation letter. His resignation is to take effect on Sept. 14 when he returns from a trip abroad, according to De Lima.

“I resigned out of delicadeza,” Arugay said, when contacted by the Inquirer.

Arugay said he was calling on his fellow deputy directors to muster the courage to submit resignation letters or be accused of clinging to their posts.

Arugay, however, said he did not feel alluded to by the President when the latter said misfits in the NBI were helping Napoles.

“I handle the administrative service of NBI and I do not have any operating unit or am involved in any investigation that will make me a suspect for tipping off suspects,” said the soft-spoken Arugay.

Aside from Mendez and Arugay, the other NBI deputy directors are Reynaldo Esmeralda (intelligence service), Ruel Lasala (special investigation service), Rickson Chiong (technical service) and Rafael Ragos (comptroller service).

Fate of Roxas unclear

In an ambush interview, De Lima said she did not know if the President had acted on Rojas’ resignation or her recommendation for Mr. Aquino to reject it.

According to De Lima, she is still trying to convince Rojas to change his mind, but the President had already talked with the resigned NBI chief.

De Lima said the President, “without saying it explicitly” knew that the ongoing investigation of the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly involving Napoles and several lawmakers would be affected by Rojas resignation.

In Malacañang, a spokesperson of Mr. Aquino said the President, indeed, had not acted on Rojas’ resignation.

“Whether it’s revocable or irrevocable, there has to be a response (from the President) of course,” said Abigail Valte, one of the spokespersons of Mr. Aquino.


Kapunan slammed

According to De Lima, she would appeal to the “sense of delicadeza” of the other deputy directors who have not submitted resignation letters. Their resignations, said De Lima, would give Mr. Aquino the leeway to decide who to keep or replace in the NBI.

De Lima, in the same ambush interview, also accused Lorna Kapunan, lawyer of Napoles, of trying to discredit the NBI. “Am I next,” De Lima said, in reply to questions about Kapunan’s statement accusing De Lima of actually being the source of the leak of information about Napoles’ arrest.

“What do they want?” said a visibly irked De Lima. “For me to resign? Is that what they want next?”

Kapunan, in a separate interview, said she was just being “factual” when she said that it was De Lima who leaked the information to the media.

According to Kapunan, the presence of Napoles’ lawyers at the Makati City Regional Trial Court shortly before the arrest warrant for Napoles and her brother, Reynald Lim, were issued should not be given malice because the lawyers were there waiting for the court to schedule a hearing on a motion to

determine probable cause against Napoles for the serious illegal detention case.

“Sadly, it’s Secretary De Lima herself who is destroying the very institution she is relying on by asking her deputy directors to resign,” Kapunan said in an ambush interview at the Supreme Court.

Refused to name

Mr. Aquino’s statement against rats in the NBI came amid talk of two ranking NBI officials tipping Napoles off about her arrest, allowing the alleged pork barrel scam queen to go into hiding for at least two weeks.

In a talk with editors and reporters of Inquirer, the President refused to name who the NBI officials are but said they had links with two senators involved in the scam. He refused to identify the senators either.

According to Valte, she, too, is not aware of whether the President would reject or accept Rojas’ resignation, though it is irrevocable. “I have no update on that yet,” Valte said.

Related Stories:

NBI chief resigns, cites ‘delicadeza’

Lacierda: Palace still has trust in resigned NBI chief

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Leila de Lima , National Bureau of Investigation , NBI , NBI urge , Nonnatus Rojas , P10-billion pork barrel scam , pork barrel scam

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • 10 essential summer skin savers
  • Here’s your visual guide to all things cool, hot in summer fashion
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace