Virgilio Mendez appointed new NBI director | Inquirer News

Virgilio Mendez appointed new NBI director

NEW N.B.I. HEAD Virgilio Mendez vows to lead by example. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

“I will lead by example,” Virgilio Mendez said on Thursday, hours after he took his oath as the new director of the National Bureau of Investigation.

“I will work harder,” he said, “and I will ensure that investigations are not wasted but lead to convictions.”


Mendez took his oath on Thursday morning before Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, in ceremonies attended by a son and coworkers.


Mendez described himself as “rustic,” and made it clear that he was proud of it.

“I rose from the ranks and worked mostly outside of Manila, which I think will help me in my new task,” he said.

“I am proud to say that I am the first NBI director to come from assignments in Mindanao and the Visayas,” he said.

Until President Aquino gave him his new job in the bureau, Mendez was deputy director for regional services.

He joined the bureau in 1978 after graduating from the NBI Academy. He was assigned to the Zamboanga Peninsula as Agent I.

After serving there for 10 years, he was transferred to Northern Mindanao, where he was promoted to assistant regional director in 2002 then to regional director in 2004.


His promotion to deputy director for regional services in 2011 made him leave the countryside to move to Manila, where his provincial experience served him well.

He said that long country experience would be one of the assets he was bringing to his new job at the top in the bureau.

Reynaldo Esmeralda, NBI deputy director for intelligence, said Mendez was an “excellent choice for the job, as he is a well-rounded officer who spent his best years in service in assignments in Mindanao.”

Being the most senior on the NBI directorial staff, Mendez has the support of all the bureau’s employees, Esmeralda said.

Peter Lugay, Mendez’s chief of staff, described his boss as a “hands-on leader with the highest integrity.”

Nolan Gadia, a longtime aide, said Mendez was a “hardworking agent and boss.”

Mendez was one of the authors of the NBI Code of Conduct and Manual of Operations.

He received commendations for the arrests of suspects in high-profile cases, including the Kristelle “Kae” Davantes murder and the fatal shooting of former Lingayen Vice Mayor Ramon Arcinue and his wife, Zoraida, 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.

De Lima vouched for the integrity of Mendez when she took direct control of the NBI after Director Nonnatus Rojas’ resignation last September. She demanded the resignation of all NBI deputies, but made sure Mendez stayed put.

Rojas resigned after President Aquino spoke to Inquirer editors and reporters on Aug. 29, 2013, about “less trustworthy” officials at the NBI, alluding to two deputy directors who had been linked to irregularities.

The two deputies were believed to have tipped off Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, about  the issuance last Aug. 14 by a Makati court of a warrant for her arrest for the alleged illegal detention of the principal witness in the investigation of the scandal.

A native of Bohol province, Mendez was born on March 5, 1952, to a farmer and a public school teacher.

At first, he wanted to become a priest and attended high school at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Tagbilaran City.

But like many boys who felt they were called, he was not destined to become a priest.

Mendez went on to study law at Divine Word College in Tagbilaran City and earned a degree in 1976. He passed the bar with a grade of 81.55 percent in the same year.

He worked with the Abinales & Mendez law firm, and United Philippine Scouts Veterans Detective and Protective Agency Inc. (now United Scouts Veterans Security and Liberty Agency Inc.) before going to the NBI Academy.

He also took special courses at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1999, and at the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and the University of Virginia in the United States in 2001.

Mendez is married to Vilma Garcia. They have three children.

Sources: Inquirer archives,


Aquino names new NBI chief

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