The new director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday formed a task force that will go after drug lords and corrupt government officials.
Director Dante Gierran, former NBI Davao regional head, announced the appointment of Roel Bolivar as head of the Regional Operations Service and at the same time head of the task force.
Bolivar was formerly NBI assistant regional director of the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila).
“The task force will operate nationwide. We will target big-time drug lords,” including people wanted for heinous crimes, Gierran said.
Geirran is the first lawyer-CPA (Certified Public Accountant) to head the bureau.
Only lawyers and CPAs can apply as NBI agents.
Gierran succeeded Virgilio Mendez, also a lawyer, who was appointed NBI chief in 2014.
He named Eric Destor as head of the Anti-Graft Division who will lead the drive against corrupt government officials, including NBI personnel.
President Rodrigo Duterte, at turnover ceremony also on Friday at Camp Crame in Quezon City, announced that he will not tolerate abuses committed law enforcement agencies, including the NBI.
“I will make sure we will succeed. That’s the marching order of the President,” Gierran told bureau personnel during the ceremony attended by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.
Insiders at NBI expect that Gierran will appoint his team of deputy directors, including a new assistant director.
The new NBI head said he was surprised to be tapped by Duterte because he is not close to the new President and even to Aguirre.
“This is destiny. I did not wish for this,” Gierran added.
“I will make a dent… I will not go back to my hometown a failure,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mendez urged the NBI personnel to support the new NBI leadership.
“I am appealing to everyone. Let’s extend the same warm support to the incoming director and lets pray for him for guidance and good health,” he said.
“It’s not easy to be on top of this bureau,” Mendez added.
“Undeniably, some were unhappy indeed and intrigues were unavoidable…. To those displeased or took the role of bystanders, I also thank you for giving me encouragement.”
JAIME R. PILAPIL