Can the Palace convince a key official to withdraw his irrevocable resignation?
Amid reports of Malacañang’s “distrust” of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), a Palace official clarified that the problem with the office is not institutional but only some individuals who are “less trustworthy.”
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing that Pres. Benigno Aquino 3rd trusted NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas, who submitted his irrevocable resignation on Monday.
“The problem is not with the institution. There are just few people, in their words, that are less trustworthy,” Lacierda said.
Rojas has headed investigations of many recent high-profile cases such as the Atimonan shootout where 13 men were killed; the Balintang channel incident involving the death of the Taiwanese fisherman; and the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima recommended that Malacañang reject Rojas’s resignation.
“Yes. If you recall, a number of investigations, a number of reports have been initiated under his watch,” Lacierda said. “Director Nonie Rojas has done a lot in the agency.
That is why I think Secretary Leila de Lima has recommended rejecting his resignation.”
The spokesperson also added that the Palace has not yet acted on Rojas’ resignation and the latter still acts on his duties, particularly the case that will be filed against to those who are involved in the pork barrel scam.
In an interview with media last week, Pres. Aquino said that there were two NBI officials that tipped off Janet Lim-Napoles, the businesswoman at the center of the pork barrel scam, that there would be an arrest warrant to be issued against her for illegally detaining the case’s whistleblower, Benhur Luy.
According to the report, these officials have close ties with senators involved in the pork barrel scam. Raps are soon to be filed against these officials whose names are still being withheld by the Palace.
Keep him, Mr. President
De Lima urged President Aquino to reject Rojas’ irrevocable resignation on Monday.
According to De Lima, she will prepare a transmittal letter recommending President Aquino reject the resignation.
“It goes to show that he is very principled. It goes to show that he has delicadeza knowing that I’ve already told him the President wasn’t referring to him. Definitely he has my trust and confidence and I will say that the President has trust and confidence in him,” said De Lima.
De Lima told reporters that the resignation has something to do with Aquino’s statement on the probe of two NBI officials who allegedly tipped off Napoles about arrest.
Prior to his resignation, Rojas sought for transparency on the investigation of the alleged Napoles tip off.
According to De Lima, in any organization, there is a share of “ill-performing assets,” however, President Aquino’s statement is not a generalization of the entire NBI.
The NBI had not yet identified the two officials but it is already looking into the case along with the Justice Department.
With A Report From Genalyn Opleda