NBI director gets permanent status
- Aurea Calica () - August 8, 2006 - 12:00am
President Arroyo is set to appoint National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) acting director Nestor Mantaring in a permanent capacity this week while retired Manila police chief Pedro Bulaong will be his deputy.

Highly placed sources at Malacañang said the President had made the decision and that the appointment papers of both Mantaring and Bulaong will come out within the week.

When asked whether Mantaring had already been appointed, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita replied, "Baka (Maybe). But the papers are not yet in my office."

Asked why Bulaong did not get the position, the sources said it was "because he would be the deputy."

There were reports before that Bulaong might get the post since he had retired as chief of the Western Police District. Retired Philippine National Police chief Director General Arturo Lomibao was also said to be eyeing the position but he denied this.

Last May, Malacañang officially named Mantaring as acting chief of the NBI. He was officer-in-charge of the agency since its head Director Reynaldo Wycoco succumbed to a heart attack in December 2005.

Ermita said Mantaring was promoted to an acting position because of his good leadership.

Mantaring’s appointment as acting NBI director was signed by the President on April 20, but was released only in May.

There were reports that grumbling among NBI officials about a reshuffle of assignments without consultation had cast a cloud of doubt over Mantaring’s chances of being permanently appointed.

Reports said a group of senior bureau officials led by Deputy Director Edmund Arugay had signed a resolution withdrawing their support for Mantaring and asked Mrs. Arroyo to replace him with somebody who could provide able leadership.

The resolution was triggered by a series of orders issued by Mantaring, transferring officials at the bureau’s main office and regional branches to other positions. Arugay himself was removed as head of the special investigation service and moved to the comptrollership service.

But Mantaring said the issued had been resolved.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez expressed support for Mantaring as permanent NBI director.

Gonzalez said the withdrawal of support for Mantaring only made him suspicious over the integrity of those behind the resolution, saying they merely manifested undue interest in their new assignments.

He explained that it was the prerogative of Mantaring to revamp personnel to make the bureau perform more efficiently.

Arugay said they endorsed the appointment of Mantaring as NBI director last January in the hope that a career official like him would be in the best position to lead the bureau and initiate improvements in the NBI’s crime-fighting capability.

The NBI rank and file wanted one of three colleagues to fill the post, adding the bureau should be led by a non-police officer.

Their nominees were lawyers Mantaring, Arugay and veteran agent Rickson Chong, who was said to have given way to Mantaring and Arugay.

ARUGAY BULAONG BUT MANTARING DEPUTY DIRECTOR EDMUND ARUGAY DIRECTOR DIRECTOR GENERAL ARTURO LOMIBAO DIRECTOR REYNALDO WYCOCO EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA JUSTICE SECRETARY RAUL GONZALEZ MANTARING NBI
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