The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is back in the Duterte administration's war on illegal drugs after a month-long absence brought about by the implication of some its people in the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said the NBI resumed its anti-illegal drugs operationson Tuesday after securing the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte. "I asked the President to allow the NBI to resume operation. Malaking kawalan ang NBI. You should remember that only last December the NBI seized the biggest shabu haul in history of almost 900 kilos worth P6 billion in San Juan City," Aguirre said. Prior to this development, Aguirre indefinitely suspended the authority of the NBI to probe drug cases following the verbal directive of the President last month.
Aguirre issued Memorandum Circular 5 suspending Department Order 554 dated August 25, 2016, which mandates the NBI to conduct build-up of cases falling under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act or Republic Act 9165. On February 2, Duterte announced that he had lost trust in the NBI, calling it a "corrupt" agency just like the Philippine National Police (PNP), whose controversial anti-drug operations had also been suspended for a month following the involvement of policemen in the Jee kidnap-slay last October 18. The crime was reportedly carried out in the guise of the government's war on illegal drugs. Some NBI people have also been implicated in the crime, prompting NBI Director Dante Gierran to relieve four of his men pending investigation by the PNP and NBI on the heinous slay. — GMA News