AN insider who rose from the ranks now heads the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Lawyer Virgilio Mendez was appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd to replace resigned NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas who returned to his old post as regional prosecutor for the Ilocos Region.
Before he was appointed to the top NBI post, Mendez was the bureau’s deputy director for Regional Operations Services.
On Thursday, Mendez took his oath as NBI chief before Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Mendez has been with the NBI for 36 years. He started his career in the bureau as an agent in 1978.
The last insider appointed NBI chief was Nestor Mantaring during the Arroyo administration.
Under the Aquino administration, all of those appointed are outsiders including Magtanggol Gatdula and Rojas.
Mendez, 61, hails from Bohol.
In 2004, he served as NBI regional director for Region 10. In 2007, he became the deputy director for comptroller services until 2009, when he was named deputy director for administrative services.
De Lima hailed Mendez’s appointment.
“It is, perhaps, time to once again, hail somebody from the NBI ranks. Besides the obvious experience that an insider will bring to the NBI leadership, it will also serve as a considerable morale booster for those serving in the NBI,” she said.