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Justice chief OK’s relief of NBI Cyber-crime chief 


THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) has approved the relief of the head of the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) Cyber-crime division and other members of the body for their involvement in an allegedly anomalous operation. 

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra told reporters in a Viber message he had approved the removal of the official from the division, though a formal order had not been issued. He did not say what the operations was about. 

Relieving officials of their duties while under investigation is part of the internal affairs division’s standard operating procedure to prevent undue influence, Mr. Guevarra said. 

“As secretary of Justice, my interest is to maintain professionalism, discipline and ethical conduct among the personnel and operatives of the premier investigating agency in our country,” he said. 

Mr. Guevarra made the decision upon the recommendation of NBI officer-in-charge Eric B. Distor.  

In a separate statement, Mr. Distor said he had ordered a reassessment of NBI’s operational guidelines to check abuse of authority.  

“All operational authority must come from the Office of the Director and must be under the control and supervision of the said office, with assistance from the respective deputy directors,” he said.  

The NBI will also reexamine its guidelines in executing search warrants, intelligence operations and investigations. — John Victor D. Ordoñez 

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