SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives is expected to ratify the bicameral conference committee report on the proposal to reorganize and modernize the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) when Congress resumes its session on May 23 until June 10, 2016.
After the House ratification of the conference committee report, the measure will be transmitted to President Aquino for approval and signature for its enactment into law.
The Senate ratified the conference committee report last February 3, 2016 prior to the congressional adjournment. The conference committee report consolidated Senate Bill 2950 and House Bill 5855.
The measure to be known as "National Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Act," provides it is the State policy to promote and maintain an effective, modern, gender responsive, competent and highly trained investigative body, functionally integrated and national in scope.
Toward this end, the State shall formulate plans and programs to enhance and modernize the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), with expanded structure, capability and manpower, responsive to the demands of the times.
The measure reorganizes and modernizes the NBI to adequately meet the increasing demands of an expanded investigative and detective work.
It mandates the NBI to 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.
The modernization program shall include provisions for the training of NBI personnel in this regard.
The present organizational structure of the NBI shall be reorganized into the Office of the Director, Office of the Deputy Director for Administration, Offices of the Deputy Director for Operations, Offices of the Assistant Directors for Investigation Service, Intelligence Service, Comptroller Service, Human Resource and Management Service, Forensic and Scientific Research Service, Legal Service, and Information and Communications Technology Service. Each service shall be composed of the necessary divisions and sections.
The NBI shall establish a Regional Office in every region to be headed by a Regional Director, and District Offices in every province to be headed by a Head Agent. Field Offices may also be established and maintained by the Director as the need arises.
The NBI personnel complement shall be increased and their positions upgraded.
The number of administrative support personnel shall also be increased to effectively carry out their functions. The NBI personnel occupying the positions affected by the changes embodied in this Act at the time of its approval shall thereafter occupy and discharge the duties and functions of their new positions and receive the corresponding salary and benefits without the necessity of new appointment.
The NBI shall have primary jurisdiction to undertake investigations in the human trafficking cases in all airports in the Philippines; extra-judicial-extra-legal killings committed by the state's security forces against media practitioners and activists; killings of justices and judges; violation of Republic Act No. 10175, otherwise known as the "Cybercrime Prevention Act";
Cases referred by the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAGCC); violations of the Anti-Dummy Law; cases involving threats to security or assaults against the persons of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; transnational crimes pursuant to existing international agreements; identification of the dead/victims in case of mass fatality incidents caused by natural disasters; and
Violations of commercial, economic, and financial or white- collar crimes such as, but not limited to, those punishable under Republic Act No. 8792 otherwise known as "E-Commerce Act of 2000", Republic Act No. 8484 otherwise known as "Access Devices Regulations Act of 1998", Republic Act No. 8293 otherwise known as "Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines," Republic Act No. 8799 otherwise known as "Securities Regulation Code," Presidential Decree No. 1689 otherwise known as "Decree Increasing the Penalty for Certain Forms of Estafa," and other similar penal statutes that may be enacted by Congress.
However, the President or the Justice Secretary may direct the NBI to undertake the investigation of any crime when public interest so requires.
House Bill 5855 is authored by Reps. Evelina Escudero, Karlo Nograles, Rufus Rodriguez, Ann Hofer, Erico Aristotle Aumentado, Niel Tupas, Isidro Ungab, Romero Federico Quimbo, Christopher Co, Rodel Batocabe, Maximo Rodriguez, Estrellita Suansing, Roy Loyola, Eufranio Eriguel, Alfredo Vargas III, Gus Tambunting, Ansaruddin Adiong, Victoria Noel, Eripe John Amante, Jose Tejada, Silvestre Bello III, George Arnaiz, Francis Gerald Abaya, Rodolfo Fariñas, Oscar Rodriguez, Regina Reyes, Emil Ong, Rene Relampagos, Samuel Pagdilao, Xavier Jesus Romualdo, Fredenil Castro, Henry Oaminal, Doy Leachon, Jesulito Manalo, Mel Senen Sarmiento, Jerry Treñas, Winston Castelo, Andres Salvacion, Antonio Del Rosario, Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Ferdinand Hernandez, Enrico Echiverri, Arcadio Gorriceta, Jose Christopher Belmonte, Vicente Belmonte, Jonathan Dela Cruz, Scott Davies Lanete, M.D., Maria Zenaida Angping, Gilbert Violago, and Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 2950 was prepared by the Committees on Justice and Human Rights, and Finance with Senators Francis Joseph "Chiz" Escudero, Cynthia Villar, Loren Legarda, and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III as authors thereof.