Press Release
July 5, 2016

Pimentel: New law mandates NBI reorganization, modernization

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today said a new law provides funding support for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the overhaul of the agency in a wide-ranging modernization program to boost its capacity to undertake expanded investigative and detective work.

The law was signed last June 23 by former President Benigno S. Aquino III and will be known as Republic Act No. 10867 or the "National Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Act." It was sponsored by Pimentel, who is also the president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Laban ng Bayan (PDP Laban), now the new administration party.

Under the new law, the NBI would be able to acquire state-of-the-art investigative and intelligence equipment and establish, among others, forensic and scientific laboratories that are vital to its criminal investigation, detection and evidence gathering work, said Pimentel.

The law also provides for the hiring of additional agents and support personnel and their training as well as increases in their salaries, said Pimentel, to make them effective in handling agency functions and missions.

Among those functions the NBI could immediately modernize, Pimentel said, are its clearance and identification services while also establishing an NBI academy, forensic and scientific research center and a cybercrime investigation and assessment center.

The agency has primary jurisdiction to investigate human trafficking cases, extrajudicial or extra-legal killings, killings of justices and judges, cybercrime, anti-dummy law violations and cases referred by the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council.

It also undertakes investigation and detection of crimes and offenses, issue subpoena to any person for investigation and is the national clearing house of all derogatory and criminal records and civilian identification records, including marks and characteristics and fingerprints database as well as dental records.

The NBI is likewise mandated to maintain, for purposes of investigative and forensic requirements, relevant database such as ballistic records of firearms, data ownership, possession and other related identifying circumstances and DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) databank.

Pimentel said the NBI is mandated to extend assistance in cases involving extradition and mutual legal assistance and to undertake the investigation of any crime when public interest so requires upon orders of the President or the secretary of the Department of Justice.

Cases involving threats to the security of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are also the primary responsibility of the NBI.

Others are transnational crimes, estafa cases, violations of intellectual property rights, security code, identification of dead victims caused by natural disasters and violations of commercial, economic and financial or white collar crimes.

The new law allows the NBI to retain and use 30 percent of its collections from clearance fees every year for its modernization and to augment its operational expenses. Its annual appropriation is pegged at P150 million.

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