NBI execs sacked on integrity issues, says DOJ chief

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday defended her move to recommend to President Benigno Aquino III the sacking of NBI deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala due to “very serious integrity and trust issues.”

“There are lingering integrity issues surrounding these two former deputy directors and I feel that the various reform initiatives that would be introduced by NBI would not be really successful and effective if we don’t really clean up the directorial staff,” De Lima told reporters.

“We need to reinvigorate the NBI as an institution and the best way to do that is to make sure that not only the director, but also the directorial staff [which includes] the deputy directors, are really dependable,” she added.

De Lima said that when she submitted to the President her nominee for the positions to be vacated by the deputy directors Virgilio Mendez, who was promoted director, and Rickson Chiong, who retired, she also included her recommendation to replace Lasala and Esmeralda.

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